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The present volume contains a collection of old-world 
legends and tales. The heroes are mostly biblical per- 
sonages; hence the name given to it by me, 'Bible Historiale.' 
It resembles in tendency and spirit these mediaeval com- 
pilations, and is their oldest representative. The Hebrew 
text exists only in one single manuscript. My transla- 
tion is as faithful and literal a rendering as such a subject 
requires. Unlike others, I have followed the older example 
and have added a full index. It is a complete digest of the 
whole matter contained in the book. No incident of any 
importance has wilfully been omitted. For the purpose of 
preparing it and of facilitating critical and bibliographical 
investigations, I have divided the text into chapters and 
paragraphs. Indications in the manuscript guided me. 

In a long introduction I have investigated firstly the 
question as to the date and authorship of the chronicle as 
a whole ; then discussed the place of its composition ; the 
relation in which the chronicle of Jerahmeel stands to the 
Book of Yashar and to Yosippon. I have laid bare the 
connection with the ' Genesis Kabba Major ' of Moses ha 
Darshan ; and drawn attention to the parallelism between 
this chronicle, the ' Historia Scholastica ' of Comestor, and 
other similar Christian compilations. 

In a second part of the introduction I have studied each 
chapter and each text separately, and I have minutely in- 
vestigated each paragraph and smaller incident. Parallels 
have been adduced by me not only from the Hebrew but 
also from non-Hebrew literatures. An attempt has been 


made to ascertain the probable age of each of these legends, 
to show the historical background of some, and the value 
for textual criticism of the other texts contained in this 

Five pages of the Hebrew manuscript of decisive 
importance for the date and for the original character of 
this compilation have been added. In short, no pains 
have been spared to make this book a worthy contribution 
to the study of Biblical Apocrypha, and to place in the 
hand of the student the means of testing the truth and 
cogency of the conclusions to which I have arrived. 

It remains now for me to fulfil a pleasant duty in 
thanking my friends Dr. W. H. Greenburg and Dr. H. 
Barnstein for the assistance they have rendered me, and 
above all Mr. F. F. Arbuthnot, to whose generosity the 
book owes its appearance. 


June 16, 1899. 
Tammuz 8, 5659. 



Autlior's Preface - 

The Creation of the World 

The Seven Planets and their Functions 

Creation of Man - 

The Formation of the Child 

Admonition against Sin 

Punishments and Rewards 

The Beating of the Grave - 

Descri2)tions of Hell and Paradise 

Fall of Adam and Eve 

History of Methushelah and Enosh 

History of Cain and his Descendants 

The Midrash of Shemhazai and Azael 

The Descendants of Adam till Koah 

The Descendants of Noah - 

History of Abraham and Yoqtan - 

The Generations of Noah - 

History of Jonithes, Nimrod, and Bel 

Abraham Legends - 

The Wars of the Children of Jacob 

The Will of Naphtali 

Joseph Legends 








- Ixi 

- Ixii 


- Ixiv 
XI. -XII. 27 

- Ixv 
XIII. 30 

- Ixvi 
XIY.-XXL 32 

- Ixvii 
XXII. 46 

- Ixix 

XXIII. 48 

- Ixxi 

XXIV. 50 

- Ixxii 
XXV. .52 


XXVI. 54 

xxxiv, Ixxiii 


- xxxiv, Ixxv 
XXIX. -XXX. 60 

- Ixxv 
XXXI. 65 

- xliii, Ixxvi 
XXXII. 69 








XXXIX. 94 



History of Sefo, Kittini and Rome (from Yosippon) 

Introduction - - - - 

Tlie Chronicle of Moses - - - - 

Introduction - - - " 

Death of Aaron - - - - ' 

Introduction - - - ■ 

Death of Moses - - - - ■ 

Introduction - - - - 

Ascension of Closes - - - ■ 

Introduction - - - - 

Tlie Camping in the Wilderness and the Legends 

of the Twelve Stones - - - - 

Introduction - - - - 
The Smiting of the Firstborn 

Introduction - - - - 

The Reliellion of Korah - - - - 

Introduction - - - - 

History of Greece - - - - - 

Introduction - - - - 

Legend of Kenaz - - - - - 

Introduction - - - - 
Legend of Sisera, Gideon and Yair 

Introduction - - - - 
The Lamentation of Seelah, Jephthah's Daughter 

Inti-oduction . . . - 
The Eight Exiles ----- 

Introduction ... - 
The Children of Moses and the Ten Tribes 

Introduction ... - 
The History of Elhanan the Merchant 

Introduction . . . - 
The Midrash of Ahab and Zedekiah 

Introduction . . - - 

The History of Susanna - - - - 

Introduction . . - . 
The History of Nebuchadnezzar - 

Introduction - . - . 
Daniel Legends ----- 

Introduction - - - - 
Zerubbabel and the Riddles 

Introduction . . - - 
Rebuilding of the Temple— Holy Fire 

Introduction - - . - 

Mordecai's Dream and Esthei's Prayer— Haman 

Legends ------ 

Introduction - - - - 

The Throne of Solomon - - - . 

Introduction - - . . 
The Pjook of the Maccabee 

Introduction - - . - 


XL.-XLI. 94 




XLIX. 130 

- xci 






LIII. 149 

- xciv 
LIV. 156 

- xcvi 
LV. 160 


LVI. 164 


LVIL 165 


LVIII. 174 


LIX. 176 

- xcix 
LX. 182 


LXI.-LXII. 186 


LXIIL 192 

- ciii 
LXIV. 200 

- civ 
LXV. 202 

LXVI. 205 

- cvi 

- cvi 

- cvii 
LXXVII. 231 


- eviii 
LXXXIV. 251 

- cix 
LXXXV.-C. 254 

- ex 


The chronicle which I publish here for the first time is 
not a chronicle in the strict sense of the word. It does 
not relate true events which have happened in the history 
of mankind, but it belongs more to that class of legendary 
history which was so much in vogue in the Middle x\ges, 
and which owes its original conception to the attempt, 
from very ancient times, to embellish the biblical narrative. 
The history of the world began with the narrative of the Bible 
— first for the Jews, and then for all the nations who have 
derived their knowledge and their faith from the same 
source. The careful reader of the Bible must have been 
struck with what appeared to him to be incoherence of 
narrative, want of details, and at times great lacunae. 
Hence the desire for filling them up. 

An old problem has also been to establish a fixed chron- 
ology upon the basis of the biblical narrative. This last 
was, in fact, the oldest attempt to construct exact history 
out of the Bible. The computation of the era of the world, 
and the desire for fixing the age of every person mentioned 
in the Bible, and of every event contained therein, was 
imposed upon Jews almost as soon as they came in contact 
with the highly fantastical chronologies of Manetho and 
Berossus, who gave to the world and to the reigning 
dynasties of Egypt and Assyria millions of years. The 
Jews, especially those who lived in Alexandria, the ancient 
focus of civilization, where all the currents of thought, 
myth and learning combined, felt the necessity of com- 


paring these fabulous histories with the true history of the 
world as contained in the Bible. We therefore find among 
the oldest Alexandrian writers like Demetrios and others 
the very first rudiments of biblical chronology. Egypt 
was also the land where myths and legends flourished in 
abundance, and no w^onder that the lives of Biblical 
personages connected especially with Egypt and Egyptian 
history, like Joseph, Moses, Solomon and others, should 
have been embellished with legendary and poetic details 
drawn from sources hitherto not yet accounted for. 

Biblical legends occur, therefore, very frequently in the 
works of the Alexandrian writers referred to, especially 
in Artapanos and Philo, and, derived from such sources, 
also in Josephus. This activity was, however, not limited 
to Egypt. The desire for rounding off the biblical narrative, 
for filling up the lacunae, for answering all the questions 
of the enquiring mind of the ancient reader, was also 
carried on in Palestine and probably so in Babylon. 
Hence a new literature grew out of the Bible, and clustered 
round the Bible, which goes under the name of the 
Apocrypha, or pseudo-epigraphical literature. 

Some of these writings are written with a special pur- 
pose, either to inculcate certain doctrines, or to show the 
antiquity of certain precepts in order to justify some religious 
ceremony. Some assume the form of historical narratives 
of events that happened to the Patriarchs, others appear 
in the form of ancient revelations also ascribed to biblical 
personages, and either try to lift the veil of the future or 
to encourage the people in time of trial and trouble. This 
literature has had a chequered career ; very little has come 
down to us in its primitive form, and in the Hebrew 
language. Even those that were written in Greek, and 
have been translated from that language, had to undergo 
considerable changes at the hands of those who afterwards 
utihzed the ancient records for the purpose of spreading 
their own religious views. Books that went under the 
names of Patriarchs claimed a great respect and venera- 
tion. And, therefore, if they contained announcements 


as to events that were to happen, Christian writers and 
then heads of sects would not fail to interpret or to inter- 
polate sentences or passages by which Christian or specific 
doctrines would appear to have been foretold from ancient 
times. Such interpolations and the use made of the books 
sufficed to condemn them in the eyes of the Jews, and 
even in the eyes of the ruling Church, and to cause their 
disappearance at a very early period. Others that were 
written in Hebrew and claimed to be a kind of prophecy, 
having been belied by the non-fulfilment of those jprophecies, 
fell into contempt, were disregarded, and therefore partly 
lost ; the purely historical and legendary portions, how- 
ever, seem to have fared somewhat better. They lived on 
because age did not affect them, and people at all times 
were inclined to bestow benevolent attention upon poetical 
descriptions or pseudo-historical narratives. 

The critical spirit belongs to modern times. The dis- 
crimination between true and false history is the result of 
modern discipline. Much that we consider as impossible 
and legendary would pass, and did pass for centuries, as 
true history ; and legendary history ranked very high in 
popular favour from ancient times onward. The texts 
suffered considerably because they were considered ' No 
man's property.' Every copyist, every author, handled 
them in the freest possible manner : adding, changing, 
altering, leaving out what he considered useless or super- 
fluous, and dwelling at length upon details for which he 
had a special predilection. The liberty taken with that 
class of literature greatly increases the difficulties of the 
critical student, and makes the task much more onerous 
for those who attempt to winnow the chaff from the corn 
and to trace legendary history to its ultimate literary source. 

With the Jews, history — that is, a description of battles 
or of internal political development — had ceased from the 
time that the political entity had come to an end. Scat- 
tered throughout the world, they dwelt much more passion- 
ately upon the records of the Bible, and favoured all those 
legendary embroideries more highly than probably any 


other nation which Uved in the actuahty, and had to shape 
its course in the various lands where they had estabUshed 
themselves. That accounts for the paucity of Jewish 
chronicles — there was practically nothing to record. From 
the time of the first Temple, that is, from the time at 
which the Bible closes down to the Dispersion under Titus 
and Vespasianus, there was a long period, in which the 
Jewish polity again flourished in Palestine, and wherein 
the Maccabeans fill such a prominent place. True, a 
brief allusion to these three hundred years and more of 
the existence of the second Temple is all that is to be 
found in Jewish literature; a stray passage among the 
thousands of pages of the homiletic or legal literature of 
those times, and no more. But, in spite of this poverty 
in reference, that period was one of intensive literary 
activity, the outlines of which have hitherto been only 
dimly recognised. 

Of the literature that flourished during the second 
Temple, some of the books are known as the Apocrypha 
of the Bible. A few pretend to contain contemporary 
real history, like Judith, additions to Daniel, Susanna, 
Maccabees ; others are books of wisdom, like Ben Sira's 
Ecclesiasticus ; or, the Wisdom of Solomon; and I may 
also mention here the so-called Psalms of Solomon. 

Greater activity was displayed in the production of the 
so-called pseudo-epigraphical books such as the Book of 
Enoch, the Book of the Jubilees, the Testaments of the 
Twelve Patriarchs, and a host of other similar produc- 
tions which have the Bible as their centre, and poetical 
imagination as their characteristic. A true appreciation of 
this literature has been reserved for our times. These 
books were used in the composition of the mediaeval Bible 
Historiale; but not one single text, according to the 
common notion, has been preserved in its original lan- 
guage. They have come down in Greek or in Latin, or in 
translations derived from these secondary sources. Old 
Hebrew parallels to the Apocrypha proper, not to speak of 
the pseudo-epigraphical, seemed completely lost. As far as 


the Apocrypha proper are concerned, there exists, however, 
a book which covers this whole period : a kind of continua- 
tion of the biblical narrative from the point at which it 
closes — viz. : the rebuilding under Ezra and Nehemiah, 
down to the destruction of the second Temple. It goes 
under the name of Yosippon (by the way, a Byzantine form 
of Josephus, in so far absolutely identical with the Hebrew 
form pD^Dv). This book contains a special version of all 
those Apocryphal tales, it goes on to describe the history of 
the Maccabeeans, and afterwards at great length the details 
of the war with the Komans up to the fatal conclusion. 
The authenticity of this Hebrew version has been ques- 
tioned by almost everyone who has dealt with it, although, 
till now, no complete or perfect edition of this work has 
been attempted. It exists in at least two distinctly different 
forms, and the manuscripts, which are not very numerous, 
have scarcely yet been touched. A huge interpolation — 
namely, the legendary history of Alexander, of which I 
published an English translation from old manuscripts — 
has induced men like Zunz to consider the whole work as 
being of the same age as that portion which had been 
interpolated at a later time. Zunz came to the conclusion 
that it was a translation made in the South of Italy some- 
time in the eleventh or twelfth century, based probably 
upon the Latin 'Egesippus.' Copyists' errors, and 
especially the changes introduced by the final editor, 
Moscone, who owns to having compiled the book out of 
a number of different manuscripts, have been taken as 
sufficient proof for declaring the whole work to be a late 
fabrication. Before attempting to show the futility of the 
arguments hitherto adduced, suffice it to mention that 
this was the only post-biblical Jewish history known for 
a long time, the origin of which awaits still further elucida- 

The pseudo-epigraphical writings have also left more 
than a few traces. In connection with them I now mention 
another book which attempts for the Bible itself that 
which Yosippon attempts for the post-biblical period. I 


mean the book which goes under the name of ' Sefer 
Hayashar.' It is a consecutive narrative from the creation 
of the world down to the time of the Judges, following 
closely the description given by the Bible, omitting all the 
legal portions, and filling up the lacunae with numerous 
legends drawn from those sources. If Yosippon has 
hitherto been treated with scant respect, in spite of 
Breithaupt's excellent work, this latter book — of which, 
curiously enough, no manuscripts are known to exist in any 
library of the world, at any rate not to my knowledge — 
has been treated with absolute contempt, as a tissue of 
ridiculous fables and of a modern make. The discovery 
of the whole series of pseudo-epigraphical writings, such 
as the Book of Jubilees and others ; the close attention 
given in modern times to this whole branch of biblical 
Apocrypha ; the investigations into the phases of develop- 
ment and into the origin of the Book of Enoch ; the 
' Assumption of Moses ' (by Charles) ; the publication of 
the ' Apocrypha Anecdota ' by James and Eobinson in this 
country, and similar studies carried out by scholars in 
other countries, have contributed largely to change our 
opinion of the value and antiquity of such books. 

In the above-mentioned books, especially in the Book 
of Yosippon and in that of Yashar, the various legendary 
elements have been deftly woven into one consecutive 
narrative. The editor or compiler has used his materials 
somewhat freely, just as an artist would use his colours, 
and he has succeeded in producing a most interesting 
book, both as far as contents and style are concerned. 
For, curiously enough, these two works alone (limiting 
myself to those presented in Hebrew), i.e., the book called 
Yosippon and the Book of Yashar, are written in the 
purest Hebrew style. Unlike any other Hebrew writing of 
ancient or modern times, they imitate the Scriptural form 
of the language, and use almost exclusively the lexicon of 
the Bible. A very few non-biblical words are to be met 
with, especially in the Yosippon, but altogether the read- 
ing is as pleasant as that of a biblical book in the form 


of an attractive historical novel. This very peculiarity of 
style has been put down by Zunz and others as proof of 
their recent origin. For what reason a book written in a 
pure style should be considered as modern and not archaic, 
has not been made clear by anyone, and it does not seem 
to have struck any critics to demand a reason. 

To assume the reverse, however, would be quite natural. 
The essential characteristic of this literature is that it pre- 
tends to be of high antiquity ; it claims patriarchs and 
prophets as its author. Could anyone conceive, then, that 
such a claim would be maintained with any hope of success, 
or that such a poetical deception would meet with any 
acceptance, if the book, purporting to be written by Enoch, 
Moses, Daniel, etc., would not be in a language resembling 
very closely that of the Bible, or that it should have 
appealed to a Jewish public in Greek ? It would have at 
once betrayed its spurious origin, and neither Synagogue 
nor Church would have taken cognizance of its existence. 

It is, furthermore, incomprehensible that, for no visible 
reason, writers of a later period should have so success- 
fully avoided adopting the current literary language of 
their time, and have purposely written in that pure, 
simple, biblical form. I do not suggest that this alone is a 
stringent proof of antiquity, but at any rate I wish to 
point out that at no time do we know this literary 
canon to have been established or to have been acted upon, 
that writers should imitate the diction of the Bible. The 
language therefore is no proof whatsoever of the recent 
origin of this or any such book. Internal evidence alone 
must finally decide the true character and date of each com- 
position. The necessity for writing in such a pure biblical 
phraseology has never been felt at a later time. In fact, 
the whole Hebrew literature, from the second or third 
century onward, betrays in its grammatical forms the 
successive changes to which it has been subjected. Neither 
the poetical literature nor the Halachic or Hagadic, during 
the time which followed the destruction of the Temple, 
shows, as far as contemporary records go, this tendency of 



adopting the pure biblical language ; and when we come to 
the eleventh century, in which the so-called Poetanic litera- 
ture flourished in Palestine and in Spain, it cannot be 
shown that even the remotest attempt was made by anyone 
to mould his language entirely upon the biblical types. 
True, these authors use biblical words, but in a manner so 
different from the Bible — playing with their meaning, 
changing their forms, and even adapting them to their 
own grammatical views in the use they make of those 
words — that it requires in many cases great ingenuity to 
detect original biblical words in these strange changelings. 
The reason for writing in that old biblical style becomes 
more incomprehensible if we compare it, for instance, with 
the Chronicle of Ahimaaz, composed in the beginning of 
the eleventh century in South Italy (Neubauer, ' Medieval 
Jewish Chronicles,' ii., p. Ill ct seq.), written all in rhymed 
prose, and totally different in style and conception from 
those in biblical idiom. One main point that stands out 
clearly in dealing with a subject which has hitherto been 
treated in a rather indifferent manner, is that assertions 
were freely made, whilst convincing proofs are still greatly 
wanting to support them. We have no right to blindly 
accept the conclusions thus arrived at. Caution has 
specially to be exercised in the case of a book like Yashar, 
so lightly put down to be of modern make, solely on account 
of the language. In examining the contents, we shall find 
them to be full of legends which do not owe their origin to 
the fancy or poetical imagination of writers of a late 
period. We find in it a portion of the legend of Enoch ; 
the legendary history of Moses, of his birth as well as that 
of his death ; of Aaron's death, and many other similar 
elements to which we find parallel in the writings of the 
Fathers of the Church, in Josephus, and in that very old 
Apocryphal literature, the Book of Jubilees, the Testa- 
ments of the Twelve Patriarchs, and the cycle of writings 
to which reference will be made anon. In virtue of these 
new facts, we are now differently placed when dealing 
with Apocryphal matter, and we are in a far better position 


to estimate the true value of this compilation than has 
hitherto heen the case. 

The publication of the present chronicle, which I have 
called ' The Chronicles of Jerahmeel,' ^Yill now contribute 
much to the elucidation of many problems connected 
therewith, and with biblical Apocrypha in general. It 
combines the Yosippon with the Yashar — i.e., it is a 
continuous narrative from the Creation down to the 
destruction of the Temple— and contains a great number 
of either unknown or little known Apocryphal texts in 
what I believe to be their original form. It must be 
borne in mind that the Book of Jubilees, for instance, 
has not yet been found in its old Hebrew form, only 
parallels to portions of it are known to exist in Hebrew 
writings. The Avhole book has thus far disappeared. How 
old, now, are these parallels, and in what relation do they 
stand to the lost original ? The same may be said of the 
Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, and of ever so many 
other old Apocryphal writings to which we shall refer in the 
course of our investigation. Here in this Chronicle we now 
have a series of similar texts all in Hebrew, the value of 
which remains to be proved, but which I have no hesitation 
in declaring to be very great. 

We are in the fortunate position that this Chronicle is 

not like the Book of Yashar— a continuous narrative by one 

author who has mixed up more or less skilfully various 

elements, and has utilized the old texts to make a single 

book of them, in a manner which obliterates the traces 

separating one from the other, and making it almost 

impossible for us to follow each of the component parts to 

their original source. Here, on the contrary, we have a 

compilation in its most primitive state, and therefore much 

more valuable from the critical point of view. The texts 

are placed one next to the other in their integrity without 

any attempt at changing their original form, or of weaving 

them together and combining them in any artificial manner. 

It is, on the whole, more a mechanical compilation than a 

scientific composition. The compiler of the complete work, 



^Yhich contains not merely the Chronicle, but a host of 
other texts, is not Jerahmeel himself, nor is the date of 
the compilation identical with that of the texts which make 
the volume. As will be shown later on, some of these texts 
go back to remote antiquity, others may be put down as of 
a more recent origin, but one and all of the texts in the 
Chronicle proper are by many centuries older than the date 
at which the compiler connected them into one volume. 
This volume — hitherto a unique manuscript — is now the 
property of the Bodleian Library in Oxford. It belonged 
originally to the late Eabbinowitz, who bought it from an 
unknown source in Italy, and it was purchased, whilst I 
was in treaty with Eabbinowdtz, by the Bodleian Library 
in the year 1887. I had the whole manuscript copied out, 
with a view to its ultimate publication, in 1888. And now 
the first part of it, dealing with Scripture history from 
the Creation down to the death of Judas Maccabeus, forms 
the present publication. The compilation of the manuscript 
is due to a certain Eleasar ben Asher the Levite, w4io lived 
at the beginning of the fourteenth century somewhere in 
the Ehine Provinces, and whose preface I have reproduced 
as faithfully as possible. In it he states that he has collected 
the books from far and wide, and combined them into one 
consecutive whole, fully conscious of the fact that no such 
book had ever been prepared before, and charging his 
children with the faithful preservation of this record of his 
labours of many years, continued under great stress and 
with great difficulties. Thus, as we can see, Eleasar the 
Levite introduced into his work in the first place a 
legendary compilation, written in the style of the old 
legendary Chronicles, filling up from ancient records all 
that appeared to him wanting in the Scriptural narrative. 
But he continues this history down to the destruction 
of the Temple ; and then in a very keen way he passes 
over centuries, filling up the gap with the legendary 
history of Alexander mentioned above, and other similar 
tales, and alights on the persecution of the Jews in the 
time of the Crusades. The rest of the book contains the 


poetical \Yorks of Gabirol, of Berachia, the Lapidarius, 
astronomical notes, and so on. Dr. Neubauer will probably 
give a detailed description of this manuscript in his forth- 
coming supplement to the catalogue of the Bodleian 
Library. Now, this compilation ought to have been called 
the ' Chronicle of Eleasar ben Asher the Levite,' were it 
not for the fact that, except one or two texts and a few 
lines in which he shows in what manner he has utilized 
the books at his disposal, nothing in the whole first part 
can directly be proved to be his. So I have selected to call 
this Chronicle by the name of the writer whose work, next 
to Yosippon, forms the most interesting and the most re- 
markable portion of this compilation. 

In comparison with this source from which Eleasar the 
Levite has drawn his elements, the chronicle of Jerahmeel 
is second in size; for he has embodied in it almost the 
whole of the Yosippon. Jerahmeel, on his side, has utilized 
a great number of ancient biblical Hagadic writings, and it 
might be stated here at once that he has introduced into 
his Chronicle only and solely Hebrew writings, not transla- 
tions made by him from more Hebrew texts ; that there is 
not in the volume a single text whose Hebrew origin or 
character the compiler had a reason to doubt. This must 
be stated as emphatically as possible, in view especially of 
' Jerahmeel ' and of other minor legendary elements which 
are found in this work of Eleasar the Levite. He had, 
moreover, access to very good texts. A minute comparison 
of the contents with other sources and parallels which I 
shall bring forward later on will, I hope, prove the 
superiority and the excellence of the texts contained in 
this chronicle over any other similar or identical texts 
found in other works of Hebrew literature. These latter 
have all been more or less deteriorated or altered, and 
we shall see that portions missing everywhere else are 
found in our text. 

Having only one manuscript at my disposal, as no other 
copy of this work seems to be in existence anywhere, 
and as the writing — the facsimiles I have added here show 


it— is not often easily readable, I had to contend with many 
a difficulty on the question of textual criticism and accuracy 
of reading. But in spite of these obstacles, and in spite of 
other difficulties inherent in a work resting upon one single 
manuscript, it will be [seen that these contentions of mine 
are perfectly justified ; first of all, that all the texts con- 
tained in this chronicle are Hebrew originals, or rest upon 
purely Hebrew originals, and, secondly, that the readings 
are more archaic and far superior to the parallels existing 
in other manuscripts or prints. As regards a few, I have 
even been able to find parallels among the ancient frag- 
ments which I have got from the Geniza in Fostat, near 
Cairo. And although some may be of greater antiquity 
than the actual manuscript of Eleasar the Levite, they 
corroborate the accuracy of the latter. One will easily 
understand, furthermore, the importance which this com- 
pilation has for the textual criticism of Yosippon and for 
the antiquity of that compilation ; as we have here a com- 
plete text of Yosippon, written down not later than the 
twelfth century in the Ehine Provinces. The original 
manuscript must have had to pass many vicissitudes until 
it reached the hands of the last compiler or copyist ; and 
yet it will be seen that the old edition of Conte (Mantua, 
circa 1480) does not differ very much from our manuscript, 
preceding the edition, as it does, by at least three hundred 

Any new edition of the Yosippon will have to be based 
exclusively upon this compilation, of which I have been 
preparing an edition for many years. But ' Jerahmeel ' 
has many interesting things in store for us. His work 
is a collection of a number of old Apocrypha, some known, 
some quite unknown. He begins his Chronicle with the 
very creation of the world, and he draws his information 
from the book that goes under the name of E. Eliezer 
the son of Hyrqanos, and is quoted as the Chapters of 
E. Eliezer. Jerahmeel utilizes also the calendristic work 
ascribed to Mar Samuel, unless it be proved that the 
chapter derived from it belonged to the Chapters of EHezer 


Hyrqanos, which is very probable (vide later on). Jerahmeel 
then gives a minute description of the Visions of heaven 
and hell and paradise, the Beating of the grave, in two or 
even three recensions ; the fall of the two angels Shemhazai 
and Aza'el, following upon the history of Adam and Eve, 
separate texts one independent of the other. He writes of 
the war between the children of Jacob and the Sichemites, 
and of the kings that had leagued themselves against them. 
He tells of the war between Esau and the children of Jacob. 
He gives us in full the Chronicle of Moses, the history of 
the death of Aaron, and that of Moses ; a minute descrip- 
tion of the Tabernacle, of the way in which the tribes used 
to encamp in the Wilderness, and many other legendary 
tales, but each of them forming as it were a separate 
chapter, not connected one with the other, but simply 
placed one next to the other, showing how he arranged 
mechanically the materials to which he had access. He 
further gives us one of the oldest versions of the legend 
of the children of Moses, of the history of the Ten Tribes 
after the Exile, the travels of Elhanan, which throw light 
on the history of that other legendary traveller Eldad the 

And then we have such other texts known as biblical 
Apocrypha, either in Aramaic, like the history of Daniel 
and the Dragon, the Song of the three Children in the 
Furnace, with the Dream of Mordecai, the Prayer of 
Esther, and the history of Susanna, and the rest of the 
biblical Apocrypha as given also by Yosippon, but in a 
slightly differing form. 

If we compare the contents of this Chronicle with the 
Book of Yashar, we shall be struck by the remarkable 
coincidence in a good number of those legends which deal 
with biblical personages. Moreover, we shall find in the 
Book of Yashar traces of the author's acquaintance with 
a chronicle similar to ' Jerahmeel.' Did the author of the 
Book of Yashar, who owns to having compiled it in Spain, 
follow the example of some other chronicle hitherto not 
identified, but absolutely like the Chronicle of Jerahmeel ? 


Did they both work m different countries, at different times, 
exactly under the same influences, and almost with the 
same result, having the same texts at their disposal? This 
is one of the literary problems which suggest themselves 
when we peruse this Chronicle side by side with the Book 
of Yashar. We find, furthermore, in the Book of Yashar 
a trace of the first chapters of the Yosippon. The question 
is, did the author of the Yashar take only the beginning 
and leave the rest ? Did he limit his book to the history 
of the Israelites comprised within the boundary of the 
Pentateuch? or is that chapter a later interpolation, re- 
markable enough in so far as the same chapter occurs also 
in the chronicle of Jerahmeel and in the name of Yosippon, 
but added by Eleasar the Levite ? If we extend our inquiry 
a little further, and study among non-Jewish writers, in the 
first instance, the ' Historia Scholastica ' or ' Biblia His- 
toriale ' of Petrus Comestor (Pierre le Mangeur), the famous 
Eector of the University of Paris in the twelfth century,* 
we shall also find resemblances in system and plan, and 
even in authorities quoted, which are fairly startling. 

The difficulties connected with this chronicle thicken and 
grow, especially on close examination of that portion to 
which I have not yet alluded, and which gives to our 
chronicle an almost unique character. In my investiga- 
tion, I shall in the first instance examine, as carefully as I 
can, the problem connected with Jerahmeel, as to date 
of compilation, origin, author and language. I shall later 
on follow the text of the book of the chronicle, chapter by 
chapter, indicating as far as possible the source whence 
each of them is derived, the parallels in Jewish and non- 
Jewish literature, so as to enable us not merely to judge of 
the work of Jerahmeel, but also as to the age of the 
various elements that go to make up his compilation. 
The ramifications are multifarious. There is scarcely a 
single legend in this compilation which does not find its 
counterpart in non-Jewish literature, and it might be 
profitable to discuss the connection between these and the 

* Vide my Ilchester Lectures, p. 147 et seq. 


point how far they depend one upon the other; whether 
the latter have borrowed from Jewish sources, or whether 
Jews are indebted to others for these legends, and for the 
information they give — questions of literary history and of 
the propagation of tales from country to country and from 
literature to literature. They can, however, merely be 
touched upon here lightly. 

Before commencing a minute investigation, we must first 
ascertain whether Eleasar the Levite has incorporated the 
whole Chronicle of Jerahmeel in his compilation, and 
whether the last copyist has been as conscientious as 
Jerahmeel. I have some doubts on these points. For 
among the texts there is one of which it will be seen that 
only a portion has been incorporated. But that portion 
in itself is sufficiently bulky to assist us in unravelling 
partly the character, the origin, the date of that com- 
position, and the personality of the author and of the first 
compiler, and the manner in which it has been preserved. 

It is in this portion that there are found peculiar legends 
for which hitherto no parallel is known to exist in the 
whole literature of the Apocrypha that has thus far come 
to light. This portion of the Chronicle of Jerahmeel is 
to all appearances just such a legendary book as we are 
accustomed to expect from very ancient writers imbued 
with that spirit which has produced such works as the 
Book of Jubilees and similar writings. 

A brief extract from the contents so far as they are pre- 
served in our Hebrew version will show that this portion 
of the Chronicle follows up the purpose of explaining 
many things which did not seem quite clear in the biblical 
narrative, and of adding a number of legendary interpreta- 
tions and embellishments to those parts of the Scriptures 
which seem scant in information and require some elucida- 
tion. Starting, therefore, with Adam and Eve— Chapter 
xxvi. in our text, and paragraphs, as I have divided the 
whole in chapters — our author is able to tell us exactly how 
many children each of the Patriarchs had. The Bible, 
after the birth of Seth, for instance, adds merely: 'And 


Adam lived so-and-so many years, and he begat sons and 
daughters, and he died.' Jerahmeel knows exactly how 
many sons and daughters were born to Adam and Eve, 
and he gives us the names of these children. He knows, 
moreover, exactly the names of the wives of each of the 
biblical personages. He knows also the children of Cain, 
and he is able to tell us minutely what arts w^ere invented 
by the wives of Lamech. Wherever he mentions a biblical 
name it is given exactly in the form in which it occurs in 
the Bible, with one notable exception, to which I shall refer 
later on. In our Hebrew text every portion that could be 
derived directly from the Bible, or any information that is 
found in the pages of the Bible, is studiously omitted. It 
would be very difficult to decide whether this is due ta 
Jerahmeel or to the later compiler, Eleasar the Levite. It 
might be due to the latter' s activity, considering that it 
coincides with the character of the whole work, which is to 
give merely such information as is not found in the Bible. 
Such information was assumed as known and accessible to 
all. It would therefore, in his opinion, be mere waste of 
time or space to repeat such w^ell-known facts as are con- 
tained in the Bible itself. 

Chapter xxvii. contains a minute description of the 
descendants of Noah, together with that of the countries 
occupied by some of them. It is filled with names which 
thus far defy every attempt at identifying them with any 
known ancient geographical or other proper names. At 
the end of paragraph 5 there is a peculiar vision placed in 
the mouth of Keu concerning the birth of Abraham. 
Then follows Chapter xxviii. : how the three sons of 
Noah and their descendants appointed princes over each 
of their descendants, and the number of their descendants 
is given. 

Chapters xxix. and xxx., up to the end of paragraph 4 
(maybe up to the end of that chapter), belong to the same 
author, and contain one of those legends completely 
unknown hitherto. It is the history of Yoqtan and of the 
people building the Tower of Babylon and worshipping tha 


fire ; how Abraham with some men refused to join to make 
bricks, and how he was to be put into the furnace together 
with the twelve men associated with him ; how eleven of 
them were sent away into the mountains by Yoqtan, who 
wished to save them ; but Abraham, who refused to be 
saved, relying upon God, was thrown into the furnace and 
was saved from it, whilst those who heated the furnace 
were all burned. Then there is the descent of God and 
the angels; the curse of the builders of the tower, and 
the promise of salvation preserved for Abraham, whom 
He brought into a land upon which the flood had not 

In our compilation then follows (Chapter xxxi.) a second 
genealogical table of the nations. Nothing justifies us as 
yet to ascribe this to the author of Chapter xxvii., as it 
would be an unnecessary duplicate, and in fact contradic- 
tory to the one given in the previous chapters. Eleasar 
the Levite describes this now as part of the work of Jerah- 
meel. In the beginning of Chapter xxxii. we find further 
the following sentence : ' I Jerahmeel have found in the 
Book of Strabo of Caphtor that Nimrod was the son of 
Shem.' And in Chapter xxxv., paragraph 2, we have the 
following sentence : ' And I Jerahmeel have discovered in 
the Book of Nicholas of Damascus,' etc. It must be noted 
at once that these two writers are quoted in the same 
connection by Josephus, and that, as far as Nicholas of 
Damascus is concerned, almost all our references to his 
work are derived exclusively from Josephus. These points 
will be utilized afterwards for elucidating the time when 
this chronicle may have been compiled, and the materials 
which were at the disposal of that compiler. 

To the same book belongs Chapter xlii., telling us the 
history of Pharaoh's decree of killing the male children, 
of the people's decision to separate themselves from their 
wives, and of Amram's speech to the people, inducing 
them to trust in God for annulling Pharaoh's decrees. 
God afterwards in the night reveals Himself to Amram, 
and is gratified with the action he has taken. 


It is difficult as yet to decide whether Chapter xHii. and 
the following belonged originally to that portion of the 
chronicle of Jerahmeel. They deal with the birth of 
Moses, his subsequent flight from Egypt, his being ap- 
pointed king over the Kushites, the flight to Midian, the 
imprisonment by Jethro, the miraculous rescue through 
the intermediary of Zipporah, the history of the rod of 
Moses, and, above all. Chapter xlviii., filled with a very 
remarkable description of the ten plagues. All this exists 
as a separate book ; the more important portion of it goes 
back to the time of Josephus, and is even older (vide later 

We resume the thread of the older portion in Jerahmeel's 
* Chronicle ' probably from Chapter Ivi. onward, although in 
paragraph 2 Joseph b. Gorion is mentioned. Chapter Ivii., 
however, and the following belong undoubtedly to that 
ancient book, and contain such legends as have hitherto 
not been found elsewhere outside of this work. 

We have here the history of the Israelites after the death 
of Joshua. They appoint as leader, contrary to the Bible, 
Kenaz, not Othniel, as the first judge, w^ho, together with 
Eleazar the High-priest, finds out that a number of people 
from each tribe had committed grievous sins in the eyes 
of the Lord, and also that they had found idols among 
the Amorites and other nations living in Canaan and kept 
them. We then get a very circumstantial description of 
precious stones that cannot be destroyed, and of magical 
books that cannot be burned, and of what happened to them 
at the hand of God ; then the fight between the Israelites 
and the Amorites, the marvellous deeds of Kenaz, who 
slew 45,000 single-handed, and whose hand had cleaved 
to the sword until it was freed by pouring warm blood 
over it. Before his death Kenaz delivers a most peculiar 
and obscure piece of prophecy. After Kenaz Othniel 
comes, and then we have a short history of Sisera, a 
miracle of Gideon not mentioned in the Bible ; the idol- 
worship of Jair, the Gileadite, the worship of Baal, the 
history of Jephthah, the vow he made to which his daughter 


Seelah fell a victim, and then the lamentation of Seelah 
before her death. 

Interspersed between these Apocryphal legends, we find 
attempts at synchronistic history. The author is at pains 
to inform us what happened contemporaneously among 
other nations of the world, e.g., what kings reigned in 
Egypt, in Greece, and afterwards in the Latin kingdom — 
all features peculiar to this chronicle. 

The concluding portion of this part of the chronicle, as 
far as it has been preserved, is the fight between the Israel- 
ites and the tribe of Benjamin ; the prayer of Phineas, and 
the remarkable end of Phineas, who is evidently identified 
with the future prophet Elijah, because he is not to die, 
but to remain in God's mountain, where the ravens and 
crows would feed him, and he would come down again 
when the end has arrived. 'Then he will close the 
heavens, and at his command they will be opened again, 
and he will be lifted up to the place where his fathers have 
gone before him, and there he shall remain until God shall 
remember the world.' A clear indication of the activity of 
Elijah, who w^as fed by the ravens, at whose word drought 
set in, at whose request the rain came, who was taken up 
in the chariot to the abode of his forefathers, and who is to 
remain there until God remembers the w^orld. 

All this narrative is written in a pure biblical style, 
easily flowing, and divided into small verses. Here and 
there some obscurity is to be noticed, but on the whole it 
is very clear ; biblical terms and forms abound at every 
turn, and scarcely a few new^ Hebrew words have I been 
able to detect. 

This portion has come down to us, unfortunately, in a 
fragmentary form. Its contents are so unique in character, 
and so different from what is known till now in Apocryphal 
or legendary biblical literature, that one is confronted with 
very great difficulties in trying to ascertain the sources 
from which the author drew, and the immediate surround- 
ings in which he lived. The date is also, thus far, a 
matter of speculation. The only book in Hebrew literature 


Avhich shows some relation in conception and in details 
is the Sepher Hayashar, which I have mentioned above. 
The similarity extends to the following points : both present 
us with lists of names of biblical persons before the Flood. 
In the Yashar we find, furthermore, a list of the names of 
the descendants of the sons of Noah as unintelligible and 
as unknown, and not met with anywhere else, as in this 
part of the Chronicle of Jerahmeel. We, further, find the 
same desire to give us attempts at synchronistic history ; 
and in matters of contents there is also a very great simi- 
larity, but these very prominent legends of Yoqtan and 
Kenaz, so unique in the chronicle of Jerahmeel, are missing 
in the Book of Yashar. Another trace of our book, at any 
rate as far as the names of the wives of the patriarchs 
are concerned, has been preserved in ' Toledoth Adam,' by 
Samuel Algazi, printed in Venice, 1600. The names in 
this latter are, however, not identical. The oldest parallels 
to these names we find in the Book of Jubilees. (As 
for the Byzantine and other literatures, cf. H. Eonsch, 
*Das Buch der Jubileen,' Leipzig, 1874, who has collected 
the whole material in connection with the Book of Jubilees.) 
A Syriac list of such names of the wives of the patriarchs 
has been reprinted by Charles in his Appendix III. to the 
Ethiopic version of the Book of Jubilees (Oxford, 1895, 
p. 183). 

I have found, however, not merely fragments and stray 
parallels to this portion of our chronicle, but the whole 
text, and even more than our Hebrew, in a Latin transla- 
tion. The Latin version of this book has been preserved 
in manuscript and in print. Mr. M. E. James, in his 
'Apocrypha Anecdota' (Cambridge, 1893), had published 
four fragments from a manuscript of the eleventh century, 
the original of which he did not know. As he says, ' There 
seems to be no corner of Apocryphal literature on which 
you can fit this fragment.' He gives us first a prayer of 
Moses on the day of his death, the vision of Kenaz, the 
lamentation of Seelah, and the song of David. Feeling 
that the Latin text might be a translation from the Greek, 


he translated the three former mto Greek, but he gives up 
the attempt with the fourth. (In hne 11 of the latter 
virginitate mea should be read instead of ingennitatc mea ; 
it was probably badly written in the manuscript.) 

Mr. James, when publishing these fragments, was quite 
unaware that they belonged to a book which had been 
printed as far back as 1527, in Basle, under the title 
* Philonis Judaei Alexandrini. Libri Antiquitatum. Quaes- 
tionum et Solvtionum in Genesin. de Essaeis. de Nomi- 
nibus hebraicis. de Mundo.' All his speculations as to 
their probable origin fall to the ground in face of the fact 
that they belonged to the ' x\ntiquitates,' a larger work of 
a totally different character from that which he surmised. 
This work is that very portion in the Chronicle of Jerah- 
meel ! There is, however, some difference between the two 
versions. The Latin is much fuller, and seems to be the 
complete text, whilst the Hebrew is merely fragmentary. 
In the Latin text the second genealogical table, or the 
distribution of the children of Noah among the various 
countries, and the origin of the nations traced to the 
three sons of Noah in the second version of Jerahmeel 
(Chapters xxxi., xxxii.), and the synchronistic element, are 
missing altogether, but, on the whole, the Latin version 
is much fuller. The legendary history proper is carried 
further down, for the book concludes with the death of Saul. 
It contains also some portions taken from the Bible, so as 
to form a consecutive narrative, more in the style of the 
Sepher Hayashar. On closer examination, we find in it a 
great number of speeches and other details with which the 
Biblical narrative is filled out, whilst everything found in 
Jerahmeel occurs in it also, and corresponds literally with 
it. This book is ascribed in the Latin text to Philo, 
and seems to have been entirely forgotten and neglected. 
Mangey excluded it altogether in his edition of Philo, and 
up to quite recently it had escaped the notice of all scholars, 
until Dr. Cohn published in the Jewish Quarterly Review 
of 1898 an abstract of the book under the title, 'An 


Apocryphal Work ascribed to Philo of Alexandria' (vol. x., 
pp. 227-332). 

In this stud}^ Dr. Cohn is quite unaware of the existence 
of the Hebrew manuscript. The discovery of the Hebrew 
original ma}^ stimulate someone to undertake anew a 
critical edition of the Latin text, with the aid of the other 
manuscripts to which Dr. Cohn refers in his note (p. 279, 
note 2). He is also not aware how widely it was read in 
ancient times, and how deeply it has influenced medieval 
literature, as will be shown later on. The famous ' Bible 
Historiale ' of Comestor, the ' Fasciculus Temporum,' and 
Forresti's (Jacob de Bergamo) ' Supplementum Chroni- 
carum,' derive their information from this source. The 
quotations from ' Philo ' are, as it appears now, taken from 
this very book. 

Now, curiously enough, the very same name of ' Philo ' 
occurs also in the Hebrew text. The history of the legends 
of the Judges (Chapters Ivii. et scq. of my edition here) is 
ascribed to Philo, the friend of Joseph ben Gorion, and we 
must ascribe to the same author the first part containing 
the legends of Abraham and the first genealogical table. 
Evidently the book bore from the beginning the name of 
Philo as author. Now, comparing in this Philo-Jerahmeel 
the dates given to the patriarchs, the number of years they 
lived before and after the birth of their children, Dr. Cohn 
shows that these chronological data agree more with the 
Septuagint than with the Massoretic text. In the Hebrew 
text these dates are unfortunately omitted, with the excep- 
tion of those given for the lives of Adam, Seth and Enosh, 
where the dates agree with those of the Latin text. It can 
be shown, however, that almost every one of the Apocryphal 
writings, the Samaritan tradition, and Josephus differ from 
the dates given in the Bible. This point alone would 
not justify us in drawing conclusions as to the source of, 
or the influence of the Septuagint upon this text. And 
even as far as the relation to the Septuagint is concerned, 
Philo is in many places at variance with it, and in closer 
agreement with the Hebrew text. The work contains 


merely the evidence of the use of a Greek version of the 
Bible, which, moreover, was not identical with the Sep- 
tuagint, but standing in much closer relation to the Hebrew 
text than the Septuagint itself. From the vast number of 
Greek words in the Latin text of Philo-Jerahmeel, it is 
furthermore clear that the Latin, at any rate, is not the 
original language in which this work was composed, but 
that it is a translation made from a Greek text. Moreover, 
from the very archaic form of the language, and from the 
words that are used in it, which agree with the language 
of the Latin translation of the Bible of the period before 
Jerome, and the identity of language with the Latin trans- 
lations known as the ' Itala,' Dr. Cohn concludes with irre- 
sistible force that the Latin translation dates back not later 
than from the third or fourth century. Neither was then 
Greek the primitive language. Even through the Latin 
one can recognise so many Hebrew forms that we are 
forced to conclude that the book must originally have been 
written in Hebrew. The Greek is merely the intermediary 
between the old original and the later Latin. The original 
must have been moulded entirely upon the character and 
style of the Hebrew Bible. As Cohn rightly says : ' The 
author himself used as his model and sole authority the 
Hebrew text of the Old Testament, and imitated its style 
and method of narration even in the smallest details. Had 
the author written in Greek, he could not possibly have 
reproduced so faithfully the style and accent of the Bible. 
Among all the Apocryphal books which were written in 
Greek, there is none in which the biblical style is so faith- 
fully reproduced as in Philo' (p. 312). 

He next brings some arguments for his contention, 
showing, in the first instance, that the sentences are almost 
universally connected with ' and,' like in the Bible, that 
paragraphs are unknown, for there is no break in the 
narrative from beginning to end, which is exactly the style 
of Hebrew narration. Also peculiar forms and turns of 
phrases and other peculiarities of language derived from 
Hebrew have been retained in the Latin, which is thus a 


faithful reproduction of the Greek, and this of the Hebrew 
original. The original, surmised by Dr. Cohn, now lies 
before us in the text which I am publishing, and bears 
out all the characteristics that might be expected from this 
old Hebrew legendary chronicle. 

The question may well be asked whether the Hebrew text 
which we have before us is the very original, or a later re- 
translation, and whether it is dependent, supposing it be a 
translation, upon the Greek or upon the Latin. In order to 
satisfy us as to the relation existing between the Latin, the 
only one thus far accessible, and the Hebrew text, I will 
limit myself to the investigation of the genealogical tables 
that are to be found in both texts. Decisive to my mind 
is this comparison between the two lists of proper names. 
As those names are probably of Semitic origin, they must 
have been written in the original, with the full use of the 
whole Hebrew alphabet. If, now, they were transliterated 
from Hebrew into Greek, and from Greek into Latin, the 
differences between n and n, s and v, d and n, 3 and P, 
D, \^ and V, would have disappeared, as those sounds have 
no corresponding letters in Greek or in Latin. Assuming 
now that the Hebrew text is a re-translation from the 
Latin, none of these double letters, or letters representing 
peculiar Semitic sounds, that had disappeared in the Latin 
or Greek, could reappear in the Hebrew text. It would 
tax the ingenuity of any man to be able to distinguish 
between the n and the n when they are both written with 
the Latin ' H ' ; or between the «, V, and r as ' A,' when 
both are written by ' S ' ; in the same way D and p being 
reproduced by one letter, 'K,' there will be no hint or 
indication for the re-translator to substitute the one for 
the other. If we apply this test to the names contained 
in Chapter xxvi., we shall find a very careful distinction 
made between all these letters. Take, for instance, the 
very first names, the eleven sons and eight daughters of 
Adam, which are, by the way, fearfully corrupted, like all 
the other names in the Basle edition (words are often 
combined, names run into one another, lacunae are arti- 


ficially created, all due to misreading of the original). 
These very first names show already marked differences 
in the Hebrew spelling; for we find various specific 
sounds being carefully separated, whilst the Latin shows 
one and the same letter for all; ^ and V are represented 
by 'S', n and n, x and v are represented by *A'. In 
the middle of a word n is entirely omitted, as they could 
not distinguish between this letter and N or n — in names 
like Naat and Maathal, w^hich in Hebrew are written 
nnj hnnD, We find also that i and 3 are sometimes confused 
with one another because of the similarity of the form, 
e.g,, the third name in the Latin, w^hich is a combination of 
two names in the Hebrew text. It is written ' Barabal ' in 
Latin, whilst in Hebrew it is hv:} -qna, ' Berok Ke'al,' where 
it is to be noted that in Latin the v is also omitted in the 
second word. Then the proper names in Chapter xxix., 
paragraph 3, which are fearfully corrupted in Latin, appear 
much clearer in Hebrew ; by which we recognise that they 
are the names of the children of Yoqtan, as given in 
Genesis (x. 26). This identification helps us, by the way, 
to see by what means they invented those names ; they 
simply took them from other biblical passages. Now, the 
Latin form is so corrupt that no man would be able to 
re-translate them into their biblical prototype. One single 
exception I have to point out, which is certainly very 
surprising, and that is the same names of the children 
of Yoqtan occurring once more in Chapter xxvii., § 5, are 
written in the same corrupt form as in the Latin. 

In the corresponding portion in the Sepher Hayashar, 
chapter vii., vers. 1-21, we find exactly similar lists, also 
extremely curious readings ; but in the last the names of 
the children of Yoqtan are given exactly in the same form 
as they are in our Hebrew text of the Bible. The copyist 
in Jerahmeel has probably run them together, thinking he 
had to deal with similar fanciful names as those which fill 
the whole preceding portion of the chapter. 

In order to facilitate the comparison between these 
genealogical tables in Hebrew with the corresponding 



Latin text, I have added them to this book in photo- 
graphic reproduction ; I have also given the Latin text 
in an Appendix at the end of the volume. We find, also, 
mistranslations which can only be explained by reading 
Hebrew words differently. So we have in Chapter xxvii., 
paragraph 4, the name 1^?) corresponding in Latin to et 
filii, because he must have read it for the Hebrew '^.^^ 
In Chapter xxviii., paragraph 3, instead of 640 the Latin 
has 340; he must have read probably i^h'C^ for C't;>. And 
in Chapter xxix., paragraph 13, where the Hebrew text 
has 'appeased the wrath of the people,' the Latin has 
liquefactus. He read the Hebrew -i2t^>»i instead of -l^t^>^1. 
All these examples, which can easily be multiplied, prove 
at any rate that the Hebrew text cannot be a translation 
from any non- Semitic original, and that the Latin itself, 
though it adheres verbatim to the Hebrew text, can only be 
considered as a faithful though secondary translation from 
the intermediary Greek now lost. This Latin translation, as 
I have already observed, has become in its turn the primary 
source of much of the legendary lore which has got into the 
writings of the early Fathers of the Church, and of medieval 
compilations, coming as far down as Fores ti's ' Supple- 
mentum Chronicarum.' 

The next point for investigation will be to ascertain the 
date of these ' Antiquities ' and the probable author. Having 
established the fact that the book was originally composed 
in Hebrew, and that the language was one of biblical purity, 
i.e., in imitation of the style of the Bible, which is entirely 
borne out by the character of the texts recovered — as in it 
scarcely a word occurs that is not biblical in origin or of a 
biblical turn — and the fact that the book had early been 
translated into Greek, and before the end of the third 
century into Latin, it will not be difficult to determine 
the date of the original composition. It must be noted that 
not a trace or allusion to Christianity is to be found in 
the whole book. In the vision of ' Cenes,' in the Latin form 
(folio 32) the words ' Nomen hominis illius ' is a wrong 
translation of the Hebrew text ; the Latin read ps^l as 


= ^^~}:, instead of ^K*\ corresponding to Hebrew, Chapter 
Ivii., paragraph 41, and is not to be taken as referring to 
Christ, for not a single trace of Christianity is to be found 
in it. Furthermore, the destruction of the second Temple 
is only indirectly touched upon. The twelve stones which 
Kenaz recovers will be utilized, we are told in Chapter Ivii., 
paragraphs 23 and 25, at the time of the building of the 
Temple. When it again will be destroyed, they will be 
kept for a future revelation, but nowhere is there a direct 
indication to the second Temple. 

The question, however, which Moses puts to God 
(fol. 20cQ, and which has been reprinted by James 
('Apocrypha Anecdota,' i., p. 172) offers a date which, if 
sufficiently clear, might assist us in fixing the probable time 
of the composition. Moses asks how much of the world's 
time has already passed and how much is still to come. And 
the answer is, 4J times have past, and 2J times have still 
to come, that means altogether that out of 7,000 years 
probably 4,500 had passed. The only question is, according 
to which computation these 4,500 are to be taken. If they 
are according to the Jewish reckoning, of which, however, 
not a trace is to be found anywhere in the rest of the book 
—except the dates mentioned above concerning the lives 
of the patriarchs, where the sum total agrees with the 
Massoretic text — that would bring us down somewhere to the 
middle of the eighth century, a date that is utterly out of 
question, considering that the Latin translation belongs to 
the third or fourth century. If the date could have been 
reversed, viz., 2 J passed, that would agree with the 
calculation of the Book of Jubilees, according to which 
2,410 had passed from the Creation to the exodus from 
Egypt. Adding 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, 
it would bring us to 2,450 as the year of Moses' death, and 
as near as possible to 2,500. But there is another date 
mentioned in connection with the death of Moses (folio 196), 
immediately preceding in the original the portion printed by 
James, in which it is said that God commands Moses to 
ascend the Mount Nebo, and says to him, ' I will shew thee 


the place in which they will serve Me 740 years, and after 
that it will be given into the hands of their enemies, and 
they will destroy it. Strangers will surround it, and that 
day will be in accordance with the same day in which I have 
obliterated the Tables of the Covenant, which I had given 
to them on Oreb. And when they sinned, that which was 
written upon them flew away, and that day was the 17th of 
the fourth month.' 

The allusion to the 17th day of the fourth month, the 
day on which Moses came down from the mountain, as a 
day of bad omen for the future, agrees with the date of the 
destruction of the second Temple, the 17th of Tamuz. We 
would then have clear indication that the book belonged to 
a period after the destruction of the Temple. 

Eeferring again in other places to worship in congrega- 
tions, the author shows himself to be a Jew who lived 
immediately after the destruction of the Temple, and, as 
Dr. Cohn rightly remarks, a book that has been adopted 
by the Church must belong to an early period, as 
otherwise such a book would never have been adopted by, 
or translated for it. The place where such a book could 
have been written can obviously only be Palestine, as only 
in that country, and at that period, Hebrew literature still 
flourished, and there alone attempts at chronology were 
made concurrently with embellishments of the Bible, as 
is attested by those Apocryphal books like the Book of 
Jubilees and Henoch, with which our author seems to 
have been acquainted, and also with that old attempt 
at chronology which goes under the name of Seder '01am. 
Without entering into an examination of the exact date of 
its composition, I consider the origin of the last-mentioned 
work, and the reason for it, to have been the establishment 
of a true chronology in contradiction to those apocryphal 
and incorrect chronologies — a new one that should clearly 
represent Eabbinical tradition and be in accordance with 
the then recognised interpretation of the Bible. The Seder 
'01am in its original form belongs probably to the same 
period. It is more than mere chance to find there a 


remarkable coincidence in the circumstance (chap. xi. Editio 
Eatner, page 48), that from the entrance of the IsraeUtes 
into Palestine mitil the Exile 850 years are reckoned to 
have passed. If we alter (and I see Dr. Cohn suggests the 
same alteration) the figures DCCXL, as given above, into 
DCCCL, we have exactly the same date, 850. We may 
safely assume the date of the original composition to be 
somewhere in the first centuries of the common era ; and 
this work to be thus far the oldest example of a Bible 
Historiale— i.e., a description of events contemporary with 
those narrated in the Bible, adding new elements, supple- 
menting and amplifying the latter. The period covered in 
this narrative agrees exactly with the most famous of 
mediaeval compositions of a similar character, in which the 
whole of the legal and prophetic portion of the Bible is 
omitted, stress being laid exclusively on the historical part 
contained in the Bible. All these historiated Bibles pro- 
ceed on the same lines. They start with the Creation, and 
close, at any rate, as far as legends are concerned, with 
David or the building of the Temple by Solomon. I have 
dealt fully with the history of this amplified Bible in my 
Ilchester Lectures on Graeco- Slavonic literature (London, 
1887, pp. 147-208). Such is also the character of the 
oldest representative in Europe, the Greek Palaia of the 
eighth century, upon which the Slavonic Palaea rests, 
published since by A. Vassiliev in his 'Anecdota Graeco- 
Byzantina' (Moscow, 1893, pp. 188-292; vide also Intro- 
duction, pp. xlii-lvi). 

Shorter and more in agreement with the Hebrew text as 
far as the period described, is that other chronicle the 
Yashar, to which I have alluded above. Therein the 
historical narrative comes virtually to a close with the 
death of Moses. Three or four pages out of 150 are 
devoted to a sketch of the period of the judges. In the 
Hebrew text of Philo this is exactly the terminus to which 
the narrative reaches. But, however much alike in general 
contents all the other historiated Bibles are among them- 
selves, the Philo chronicle is distinguished from them by 


those very legends that are nowhere else found, by the 
rhetorical character of the description, by the speeches 
placed in the mouths of the principal persons, and especi- 
ally by the fulness of details regarding the period of the 
Judges. All these details are missing in the whole known 
cycle of the Bible Historiale, and prove the greater antiquity 
and independence of Philo. Whilst preserving the frame, 
later compilers made additions and introduced better known 
and generally adopted legends. Thus we can understand 
the total disappearance of the primitive form of the Bible 
Historiale. The same thing has happened even to the 
latter, being superseded by Comestor. 

Turning now to the Hebrew text, it is a remarkable 
coincidence that this legendary chronicle should in this 
text tally absolutely with the Samaritan chronicle. In 
both the ancient Jewish history comes abruptly to a close 
with the estabhshment of the Tabernacle in Shiloh under 
the High Priest Eli. The Samaritans consider this period 
to be the beginning of the secession from the true ancient 
Israelitish worship, which they claim to have carried on 
uninterruptedly in its primitive purity. 

Their biblical history, and especially their famous Book 
of Joshua, treats only of the same space of time and of the 
same events as contained in our chronicle. All the rest 
is ignored by them completely. It is an extraordinary 
coincidence, and may almost assist us in the elucidation of 
the origin of this old Philo-Jerahmeel, pointing as it does 
to a possible Samaritan origin. This origin would explain 
the pecuhar chronology at the beginning, and the reason 
why our Chronicle should dilate on the events that hap- 
pened in the time of the Judges. It is only remarkable 
that Joshua himself, who plays such a prominent role 
in the Samaritan chronicle, should be missing here 
altogether, and that the Latin should continue the 
history down to the time of David and Solomon, the two 
kings most hated by the Samaritans. The name of the 
mountain, Tlag (lix. 5), would also point to some such 
Aramaic- Samaritan tradition, as this is the name for 


Hermon in the Palestinian - Aramaic Targum. The 
Samaritan chronicle of Joshua was not unknown to the 
Jews, as the correspondence between Joshua and King 
Shobakh of Armenia carried on by means of a dove is 
given by Samuel Shalom in his edition of the ' Juhasin ' 
(Constantinople, fol. Ilia). 

In what relation stands this book— which in Latin is 
ascribed to Philo, and in one portion of the Hebrew 
manuscript also — to Jerahmeel's compilation ? Who is 
Jerahmeel ? This difficulty is somewhat increased by the 
fact that we have in that which appears now in Eleasar 
the Levite's compilation under the name of Jerahmeel 
portions, as it were, added to the ancient work of Philo 
which are missing in the Latin, unless they can be found in 
other manuscripts, and have been omitted by the editor of 
the hitherto single edition of Basle. Principally we must 
note in this connection the second genealogical table, to 
which I have already drawn attention once or twice, 
forming Chapters xxxi. and xxxii., and the synchronistic 
element which pervades the whole compilation. Is this an 
addition made by Jerahmeel, or is it the work of another 
and more ancient compiler, whom Jerahmeel utilized for 
his own work ? 

How great is his share in the work before us, at what 
time and where did he live and write ? I assume him to 
have been a person other than the author of the legendary 
part, and not identical with ' Philo,' although the names 
seem identical ; the Hebrew is the counterpart and perfect 
translation of the Greek word ' Philo,' both meaning ' the 
beloved of God.' I ascribe to him most of the chapters 
that precede and follow that portion of the book which 
is found in ' Philo.' Eleasar, the last compiler, moreover, 
states distinctly that he intercalates portions from other 
books, notably from the Yosippon, or whole texts, breaking 
up the narrative of Jerahmeel. Dr. Perles, who was the 
first to have the manuscript of Jerahmeel in his hands (and 
whilst dilating on Eleasar, the author of the actual full 
compilation, fixing his date correctly and connecting him 


with a family of great scholars), draws attention to Jerah- 
meel, and comes to the following conclusion : That all the 
statements of Jerahmeel wherein he refers to Nicolaos of 
Damascus and to Strabo are not to be taken literally ; that 
he must have used the Yosippon ; and, because a German 
word occurs in one of these chapters, Jerahmeel must have 
lived somewhere in Germany in the thirteenth century. 
The truth, however, is that the German word does not 
belong to Jerahmeel, but is undoubtedly a gloss added by 
Eleasar, the compiler, who was a German. This is not 
the only instance in the present work. In the first 
chapters, which owe their place in this book also probably 
to Eleasar, we have a list of the names of the week given 
in that very old German dialect which belonged to the 
Khine Province of the twelfth century. In another place. 
Chapter Iviii. 8, we have the explanation of the Sirenes as 
Niks (Nix in German), and in the genealogical table Eleasar 
the Levite gives an explanation, in his own name, of one of 
the names of the nations ; the Flamingos he considers to 
be identical with the Lehabim of the Bible. A curious 
popular etymology, by which the Flamingos, the Flemish 
people, would be derived from the 'flame,' the burning 
ones. We may dismiss, therefore, this conjecture of 
Dr. Perles altogether, as being contrary to the internal 
evidence furnished by the text. 

The next one who deals with Jerahmeel is Dr. Neubauer 
{ride later on), and he declares him to have been a writer of 
the eleventh century, living in Magna Graecia or in South 
Italy, the i^roof for it being that he knew Greek, and also 
that he made use of the Yosippon, which goes back to Greek 
sources. The supposed knowledge of Greek is evidenced, 
according to Dr. Neubauer, by the names of the genea- 
logical table ; but, if anything, just the reverse is the fact. 
Forms like ' Isides ' for ' Isis,' ' Palante ' for ' Palas,' and 
any number of them, show distinctly that the author knew 
anything but Greek. More proofs to the contrary will be 
brought forward in the course of this investigation. And 
the reason for declaring that he lived in the South of Italy 


is of so flimsy a nature that it can also not be con- 
sidered seriously, for it rests mostly upon Jerahmeel's 
acquaintance with the Yosippon. The South - Italian 
origin of this book is one of those assumptions in Hebrew 
literature for which the proof is still wanting. This 
very acquaintance with Yosippon will lead exactly to 
different conclusions. Before approaching this more pro- 
blematical part of our investigation, we take first into 
consideration those portions which may yield a more 
positive result. I start with the synchronistic element, 
that is, with those portions which deal with non-Jewish 
history, and especially with the second genealogical table 
(Chapter xxxi., et seq.). Examining it, we find that it rests 
primarily upon Josephus. In this second version we have 
a totally different tradition from that in the preceding 
chapters, and, moreover, this new genealogical table is 
entirely missing in the Latin Philo. The basis of it seems 
to be identical with the geographical table given by 
Josephus in his 'Antiquities' (book i., chapter vi., para- 
graph 1, et seq.). If we turn, then, to the Book of Jubilees 
(chapter viii., verse 12 onward) we find an absolute identity 
in the general outline of the geographical divisions of the 
world among the three sons of Noah. And if we look at 
the other Jewish traditions connected with that division of 
the world, and contained, for instance, in the Jerusalemitan 
Targum to Genesis (chapter x.), and in other parallel passages 
in Midrash and Talmud, we shall find that they all seem 
to go back to one and the same ancient tradition, represented 
in its fullest form by Josephus. This has been adopted 
afterwards by all the Fathers of the Church. 

It recurs, then, almost in the same form, with slight 
alterations in, or additions to, the names of the descend- 
ants of Noah, in the writings of ancient Christian authors 
who lived or wrote in Palestine and Asia Minor, such as 
Epiphanius, of the fourth century, in his * Ancoratus,' 
c. 114, 115, and 'Heresies,' c. 46, et seq., in the fifth 
century. The text of Epiphanius had been copied verbatim 
in the * Chronicon Paschale ' of the seventh (ed. Bonn, 


i., pp. 45-64). (Full notes and parallels from the whole 
cycle of the ancient Greek chronicles, ibid., ii., pp. 235- 
249.) Hippolytus, third century, Eusebius, fourth century, 
Jerome of the fifth, and then Malalas of the sixth. It 
entered also the Latin writers through the intermediary of 
Jerome, notably into the ' Origines ' of Isidorus of Spain, 
of the seventh, and in Beda's writings of the eighth century ; 
it found a place in the later Byzantine and Slavonic Chrono- 
graphs, as well as in the writings of Eutychius and Bar- 
Hebraeus Abulpharadj. 

They all seem to have repeated one another, and have 
all one and the same old tradition. In the course of time 
they substituted new names for the old ones. The same 
has happened also in Hebrew literature. So, in the Targum, 
in the introductory chapters to the Hebrew Yosippon, where 
we find also such a division, together with a list of names 
reproduced in our chronicle side by side with the old and 
also in the Sepher Hayashar (chapter x., verse 7, et scq.). 
These names assist us now to show, at any rate, to 
what late period we may bring down the date of the com- 
position. If any nation is mentioned which appears at 
a certain date on the stage of history, we are able then to 
assign the book that mentions it to the period after the 
appearance of that nation. In this manner we are able to 
establish that the introductory chapter to the Yosippon is 
probably a later substitution for an older one, and belongs 
to the eighth or ninth century. On the other hand, the 
names mentioned in ' Jerahmeel,' if that chapter really 
belongs to the original ' Jerahmeel' cannot be earlier than 
the fifth or sixth century ; that chapter might belong to 
even a later period, but we cannot consider it to be earlier 
than the fifth or sixth century, as among others the 
Nordmani, Bayuveri, and Langobardi are already men- 
tioned — all nations which appear in the fifth or sixth 

If we examine, then, the form of these names, we shall 
be able to decide whether the author had access to Greek 
or to Latin sources of information, and, by the pronuncia- 


tion or transliteration of certain names, even to what period 
they belong. The oldest source of information was un- 
doubtedly Josephus, or a similar source identical with that 
from which Josephus drew his information — the old 
imperial road lists, the ' Itineraria.' The form of these 
names proves clearly that the immediate source for Jerah- 
meel was certainly not a Greek text. Dr. Neubauer in 
his study on Jerahmeel (in the Jewish Quarterly Revieio 
of April, 1899, page 367) suggests such a source. The 
very examples brought forward by him prove the reverse, 
as the transliteration of the names and the oblique form of 
the tenses show them to have been dependent, not on Greek, 
but on Latin sources. Forms like Gresi, Fransi, Kapadoses 
are certainly a transliteration of the corresponding Latin 
forms written with C, and not of the Greek that are written 
with K. A form like Fre^^es undoubtedly corresponds much 
more with the Latin Phryr/es, already with that palatal 
pronunciation of the Latin g, in its change to the Eomance 
forms, than with Greek. The same is to be said of /Silida, 
which in Greek would be JiiliAia. (I must mention that 
Cyprus is still written /upros.) We have further Phenise, 
which is certainly the representative of Phoenicae, Lusifer, 
corresponding to Lucifer — the Greek word would be 
Edsphoros — which all prove that the immediate source 
must have been written in Latin and not in Greek. None of 
the peculiar Hebrew letters such as n and i; are found here ! 
The old Latin translation of Josephus's 'Antiquities' made 
in the sixth century cannot have served as basis for our 
genealogical table, for the latter contains many additions 
and changes that are not to be found in Josephus' s work 
itself ; they agree, however, partly with Jerome's version 
in his ' Quaestiones in Genesin.' Much more close is the 
identity between ' Jerahmeel ' and Isidor of Spain (Origines, 
XX., 2, in Opera, Paris, 1601, f. 116 etseq.). We shall find 
later on, especially concerning the synchronistic portion, a 
remarkable closeness between Isidor's ' Chronicon ' {ibid., 
f. 374 et seq.) and ' Jerahmeel,' and also between the latter 
and the * Historia Scholastica ' of Comestor, who probably 


had access to the same Latin source for his information as 
Jerahmeel. This points to a Latin-speaking or Latin- 
writing country in the South of Europe as the home of 
the author of these additional elements in ' Jerahmeel's 
Chronicle.' I believe this to have been neither Germany 
nor Greece, but Spain. Spain is the only country where 
this kind of early Latin chronograph was written. But 
besides this possible acquaintance with Isidor's works, 
there are a number of other cogent reasons for looking to 
Spain as the home of this chronicle. 

We must remember in the first instance the close 
similarity in contents and sources so often pointed out 
between the Book of Yashar and this Chronicle even as 
far as genealogical tables are concerned. Li one instance 
the Book of Yashar contains even more than that which 
is preserved in our Jerahmeel. I am alluding to Yashar, 
chapter xxii., verses 20-39, containing an apocryphal list 
of the children of Terah, which is not to be found anywhere 
else. This Book of Yashar has been compiled, as it is 
stated in the introduction, in Spain, and there is no reason 
to doubt the accuracy of this statement. Li Spain we find, 
further, the Book of Yosippon having been used on an 
extensive scale by a man of the standing of Kabbi Abraham 
b. David, who lived in the twelfth century (1161). He, 
curiously enough, writes also an abstract of Eoman history, 
which in many details is absolutely identical with the 
narrative of Jerahmeel, especially in that concerning the 
establishment of the Eepublic. The senators are ruled by 
a man whom he, just as Jerahmeel, calls ' Yashish,' or 
* Zaqoen,' ' the old man,' a curious literal translation of the 
word ' Senatus.' If the use of the Yosippon would prove 
the author to have lived in the South of Italy, then Abraham 
b. David, the first one who quotes from it extensively, 
in fact, who makes an abstract of the history of the second 
Temple agreeing almost verbatim with our text, should also 
have lived in the South of Italy. It is established, how- 
ever, and is beyond doubt, that he lived and died in Spain. 
Saadyah knows Yosippon in the ninth century in Egypt, 


and Qalir in Palestine, probably in the seventh ; from the 
argument adduced by others, these authors ought to have 
lived in South Italy in the twelfth. The use of a book can 
prove merely the age of the author, but not in any way the 
country in which he lived. 

We thus find two works in Spain agreeing in the 
main with the bulk of Jerahmeel's work — the Yashar, an 
apocryphal history from the Creation, together with peculiar 
genealogical tables, with the introduction of legendary 
elements drawn from ancient sources, and portions of the 
history of the Komans ; and Abraham b. David's work 
containing a long abstract from Yosippon, these two being 
the characteristic elements of the Chronicle of Jerahmeel. 

We may go now one step further. One portion of his 
book consists of a translation of the Aramaic portions of 
Daniel into Hebrew. It is now a recognised fact that 
among all the countries where Jews lived in ancient times, 
those of Spain were the only ones that either neglected 
Aramaic, or did not possess any knowledge of it. So late 
as the tenth century Dunash b. Tamim, the great gram- 
marian, had to write an epistle recommending strongly 
the study of Aramaic for the purpose of elucidating and 
understanding the Hebrew. Missives and information that 
came from Babylon are known to exist in an Aramaic 
and in a Hebrew form, like the famous letters of Sherira 
and Haya Gaon, and it is now an admitted fact that the 
Hebrew was intended for the Jews in Spain, whilst the 
Aramaic went to those in Italy, France, and Germany. As 
regards the liturgical poetry, we find Aramaic poems known 
only in the liturgy of the latter countries, composed by 
authors living there, whilst almost everything in Aramaic 
was discarded in Spain. This was probably due to the 
connection between Spain and Palestine. The translation, 
therefore, of Aramaic portions of the Bible into Hebrew 
could only have been of value and appreciated as such in 
a country like Spain — an additional argument, therefore, 
for my contention that we have to seek in Spain, and 
nowhere else, for the origin of the Chronicle of Jerahmeel. 


Everything points to that conclusion : Jerahmeel's acquaint- 
ance with the books that are known to have existed there, 
viz., Biblical Apocrypha and the Book of Yosippon ; the 
identity also in style between his writing and these two 
other writings. Now, as to the other activity of Jerahmeel, 
we find in the same manuscript some poetical compositions 
which show him to have been a man versed in mathematical 
disciplines, especially addicted to chronological calculations 
and in preference to mathematical puzzles. In one of 
these poems a peculiar era is mentioned by him which 
agrees with the Era Seleucidarum, but in Chapter lix., 
paragraph 10, of the Chronicle itself he distinctly states 
that the era which ' we use is that from the destruction of 
the Temple.' This era is known to have existed solely in 

A more decisive proof for the Spanish origin of this com- 
pilation is furnished to us by another legendary collection, 
which in itself is a problem hitherto not sufficiently 
elucidated. It was known from the quotations made by 
Eeymundus Martini, in his ' Pugio Fidei,' that, besides 
the so-called ' Genesis Eabba,' another similar compilation 
of a homiletical character also existed, which went under 
the name of ' Genesis Eabba Major,' or ' Eabbati,' and in 
many cases it is ascribed to a certain Moses the Darshan. 
This ' Genesis Eabba Major ' has disappeared, however, 
save a few fragments preserved in a manuscript of late 
date now in the Bodleian Library, and in some quotations 
which Gedaliah made in his edition of the ' Genesis Eabba ' 
in ed. Salonik. Many were the speculations connected with 
the origin and character of this last compilation, which was 
characterized by the fact that it contained many curious 
Apocryphal legends and tales almost of a unique character. 
It so happened that a manuscript was found in Prague, 
which seemed to be a kind of reflex or an imperfect copy 
of that old compilation of the ' Eabbati ' ascribed to Eabbi 
Moses Hadarschan. Zunz, Eappaport, and Jellinek drew 
attention to it, and also conclusions from it. Mr. Epstein 
has recently examined this manuscript, and published a 


study, the result of which is that the authenticity and 
correctness of the quotations of Martini are now placed 
beyond doubt ; and this manuscript represents, to a certain 
extent, that old and more perfect compilation which was 
known and utilized in the thirteenth century. 

In comparing the most important legends in ' Eabbati ' 
with Jerahmeel we are forced to conclude that Moses the 
Darshan, who lived in the twelfth century in Narbonne, 
must have had access to our Chronicle. From it he has 
drawn most of those peculiar elements so characteristic of 
his compilation ; for we find the Aramaic fragments in ' Pugio 
Fidei ' of Daniel in the hons' den are also in Aramaic, 
and absolutely identical with Jerahmeel's version. This, 
by the way, is one proof more of the extreme antiquity of 
this Aramaic text, and of the authenticity of Jerahmeel's 
information, that he has copied it from the old version, 
which served as basis to Thedotion (' Pugio Fidei,' ed. 
Paris, p. 742). The same text is found in the fragment of 
the ' Eabbati,' pubhshed by Dr. Neubauer (' Book of Tobit,' 
pp. 41, 42), and in the manuscript examined by Epstein 
(' Bereschit Piabbati,' 1888, p. 14, No. 1), which agrees still 
more closely with the text of Jerahmeel. The following 
comparison will prove that we have now found the hitherto 
unknown and unsuspected source for the ' Eabbati.' For 
the identity of the legends in ' Eabbati ' with those in our 
collection goes much further. The legend of the bird 
Milham, which is a variation of the phoenix legend given 
by Martini in the ' Pugio,' 543, in the name of Moses the 
Darshan, is found also in the manuscript ' Eabbati ' {ride 
Jellinek, 'Bet. Ham.,' vol. vi., p. xii, note), and is identical 
with the legend in Jerahmeel, Chapter xxii., verse 6, for 
which hitherto the only known parallel was in the ' Alpha- 
betum Sirac' (cf. later on). This last identification 
between Martini and the ' Eabbati ' has been overlooked 
by Epstein. 

We find in it, further, the legend of the fallen angels, 
for which we have known hitherto only the parallel in the 
* Mid. Abkir.' It is found in the ' Pugio ' and in the 


' Eabbati ' manuscript of Prague (Epstein, p. 21, No. 17), 
and in Jerahmeel, Chapter xxv. It also contains a de- 
scription of Paradise (' Pugio Fidei,' p. 335 ; and in the 
manuscript 'Eabbati,' Epstein, p. 16, No. 9), which agrees 
with Jerahmeel, Chapter xx., paragraph 7 following, being 
absolutely identical. A short description of hell is given 
in ' Pugio,' pp. 482, 483, which agrees in the main with 
Jerahmeel, Chapter xxi., paragraphs 2, 3 ; and still more 
convincing, if necessary, is the absolute identity of the 
history of the Children of Moses, as mentioned by Epstein 
(p. 19), agreeing entirely with Jerahmeel, Chapter Ixii. 
This legend is the only one fully reprinted by Epstein, from 
manuscript Prague (in his ' Eldad,' pp. 42-45), and we 
can see the absolute identity between the two texts. Ep- 
stein mentions further (p. 30) that in the ' Eabbati ' are to 
be found similar legends about Eliphaz, the son of Esau, 
and the war between Esau and the children of Jacob, 
which he believes to have been taken from the Book of 
Yashar. As this very same legend is given in full in 
Jerahmeel, we need not go to the Sepher Hayashar for 
the solitary instance of a possible borrowing. The co- 
incidence between the two compilations having exactly 
the same legends not known elsewhere, and the fact that 
these legends agree literally with one another, prove abso- 
lutely that one must have been borrowed from the other. 
The priority will easily be conceded to Jerahmeel, whose 
work consists exclusively of such legends placed one next 
to the other and collected into one volume, and not to the 
author of a homiletical commentary to the Bible, where 
he would introduce, by way of illustration, legends culled 
from difterent sources. I consider all the texts that occur 
in homiletical collections as of but secondary value, altered 
and utilized for a special purpose. In many cases the 
whole text has been reproduced ; in other cases that text 
has been curtailed, and only the principal incidents which 
were of interest in connection with the homily were re- 
tained. In that compilation known as ' Eabbati,' in the 
form quoted by Eeymundus, we see the very same thing. 


Some legends are retained in full, others have been 
shortened and adapted to the homiletic purpose. 

This evidence overwhelmingly proves that our compila- 
tion must have been known and extensively used by 
writers who lived in Spain, and who had direct literary 
connections with Spain ; and our ' Jerahmeel ' assists us, by 
the way, to solve an important problem in the history of 
Jewish literature. This alone would have sufficed to 
justify the publication of his Chronicle. 

The date of this part of the Chronicle is fixed, to a certain 
extent, by the names of the nations which are mentioned, 
and by the dependence upon the ' Chronicon' and ' Origenes' 
of Isidor. They carry us down to the middle of the sixth 
century. It is noteworthy that in the whole book not a 
single allusion to Christianity is made. In the legends of 
the Ten Tribes Mohammed is mentioned, but this would 
also not carry us further down than to the seventh century, 
as no Chaliphate is alluded to, and the Jews are fighting 
apparently small Ishmaelite kingdoms. On the contrary, 
in one instance (Chapter xxxii., paragraph 6) our author 
states distinctly that the Kings of Rome are still in existence, 
and are called C?esar, after the name of Julius C?esar, unless 
this note be taken to refer to the Emperor of the Holy 
Roman Empire from the ninth century onward. But there 
is not the slightest allusion to German Emperors in our 
text, or even to a German kingdom. The author of this 
compilation evidently limited himself to the biblical period, 
with this solitary exceptional reference to the Ccesars that 
are still ruling in Rome. 

As a result of this investigation I ascribe the synchron- 
istic element, as well as the second genealogical table, to 
the same author. Both are derived from one and the same 
source ; and as they occur mostly in conjunction with the 
' Philo ' portion, I am inclined to believe that they have 
been incorporated with that chronicle not later than the 
sixth or seventh century, wdien, in every probability, all 
the other biblical Apocrypha were added, which would 
contribute to amplify that legendary chronicle. The 



histories of Abraham, Moses, Haman and Mordecai, of the 
Ten Tribes, and the children of Moses, living beyond the 
borders of the mythical Sambatj^on, would thus have 
amplified and enriched the older Chronicle of Jerahmeel, 
form the basis for the Yashar, with which it would agree 
in most elements, and would thus be the nucleus for the 
larger work, unless it could be proved that Yashar is 
dependent on another similar compilation, and not directly 
on the present work. 

The question of the relation between the Yashar and 
Jerahmeel still requires further elucidation before I can 
venture upon a definite reply, and very much depends upon 
the fact whether another manuscript of Jerahmeel will ever 
be available. But there can be no doubt as to the intimate 
relation between these two books, and as to the independ- 
ence and priority of Jerahmeel. 

Throughout this introduction I have called the whole 
compilation by the name of Jerahmeel. Of the part which 
he has taken in it nothing definite can be said, the date 
when he lived and wrote being still a matter of conjecture. 
If the poems found at the beginning of this manuscript 
with the acrostic Jerahmeel belong to the same man, and his 
references are to the well-known Eashi and probably to 
his grandson, he must have lived in the twelfth century. 
His activity would then have consisted merely in enriching 
the already existing older compilation of at latest the 
seventh century by the addition of new and similar 
material and possibly the omission of some of the older 
materials, without changing however in the least the 
wording of the texts which he retained. The ' Duplicates,' 
if I may call them so, would be due to him ; then, 
the portion from Daniel translated from Aramaic into 
Hebrew ; but, on the other hand, he took great care not 
to incorporate larger portions of Yosippon in the middle of 
the actual chronicle. The genealogical table from Yosip- 
pon was interpolated (Chapter xxxi.) b}^ the last compiler, 
Eleazar, who mentions this fact expressly, stating that he 
was, by so doing, interrupting the narrative of Jerahmeel. 


The literary tradition of Spain also favours this theory. 
In that country alone writers of chronicles, following the 
old example, strive after a simple, pure Hebrew style. 
Curiously enough, all of them, like the later writers: Ibn 
Verga, the author of the Shebet Yehudah ; Ibn Yahya, the 
author of the Shalshelet Haqqabbalah ; Joseph Ha-Cohen, 
the author of the Emeq Habakhah, and others, follow the 
same old example of imitating the biblical style, exactly in 
the same manner, but with less originality and less freedom 
as was done by the author of the old Chronicle Philo- 
Jerahmeel, by the Yosippon, and by the compiler of the 
Sepher Hayashar. 

His reference to the writings of Nic. of Damascus 
and Strabo of Caftor as books consulted by him could not 
be taken literally, as he quotes them probably from the 
Yosippon, in which they, in fact, are found in identical 
terms. Like all medieval chroniclers, he both copied the 
ancient chronicle, and embellished it with legends and 
information of his own. The texts are not altered in the 
wording ; whole portions are omitted or added. The same 
operation was afterwards repeated by Eleazar the Levite, 
who utilized it in the fourteenth century for the compila- 
tion of his own great chronicle. 

It is noteworthy that the name Jerahmeel is as perfect 
a translation as one could wish for the Greek name Philo. 
To assume two Jerahmeels, one of a very early date, the 
author of that portion of our Chronicle which in the Latin 
goes under the name of Philo, and another of a compara- 
tively very recent date, the compiler of the larger work, 
would be somewhat hazardous. But the name of Philo in 
itself requires to be explained, unless it can be shown that 
that legendary work could not be the work of Philo the 
Alexandrian, or some other Philo. The fact is that these 
Apocryphal ' Antiquities ' are found together in that trans- 
lation with other genuine works of Philo. They all have 
the same character as far as the language is concerned, 
and belong to the same early period before Jerome, and are 
probably all the work of one and the same translator. He 


therefore knew them as the work of the same author, Philo, 
as the rest. However that may be, until the question of 
Jerahmeel and his part in our Chronicle has been further 
elucidated, I call this Chronicle by the name of Jerahmeel 
or Philo- Jerahmeel, for if it is not the name of the real 
author, it is undoubtedly due to him that this most 
precious and unique monument of ancient Hebrew legend- 
ary literature has been preserved. It is one of the few- 
old Apocryphal books which have come down in their 
original form and in the Hebrew language, whilst most 
other books of the same period and of the same character 
have either perished entirely or have been preserved in a 
mutilated and incomplete translation, like the Book of 
Enoch, in Ethiopian; the Assumption of Moses, in Latin; 
or the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, in Greek, and 
so on. The close similarity between the Latin of Philo and 
the Hebrew preserved to us by Jerahmeel, at any rate, 
shows that it is a very ancient original Hebrew text. The 
possibility of its being a translation from the Latin being 
absolutely excluded, Jerahmeel proves thus to be, if not the 
author, at any rate a faithful transcriber of very ancient 

The language of this Philo-Jerahmeel portion is exactly 
the same as in the Yashar and in the Book of Yosip- 
pon, with which Jerahmeel is evidently well acquainted. 
The argument, therefore, that a book written in imitation 
of the biblical style must be of recent origin, is thus dis- 
proved at the hand of authentic documents. I need not 
point out the extreme importance which this fact has for 
the other Apocryphal texts in our compilation of uncertain 
date, those considered to be of comparatively recent origin, 
only and solely because of the fluency of the style, of 
the purity of the language, and of the imitation of the 
biblical diction. The fact once established that the older 
a book the purer its Hebrew style (unless it is shown 
to be a late artificial production purposely written in 
that style), will throw some side-light on recently re- 
covered fragments of the ancient Apocrypha, which differ 


very considerably, by reason of the artificial character of 
their style, and the numerous new forms and words they 
contain, from the simple and natural sentences and words 
of the Bible, and from such historical or legendary books 
as the Chronicle of Philo-Jerahmeel, and as the legends 
that go towards making up the Yashar, such as the history 
of Abraham, Chronicle of Moses, etc. 

A comparison between Jerahmeel's texts and their 
ancient parallels, prove him to have been a faithful copyist 
of the documents which he wrote down exactly in the form 
in which he found them ; otherwise such names as occur 
in the genealogical lists and in the historical notices inter- 
spersed throughout the book, would not have been allowed 
by him to retain their original form in the Hebrew trans- 
literation, but would have been recast by him into a form 
more akin to the Hebrew language. In the one instance 
where he acts as a translator he mentions the fact expressly, 
and states that he had translated the Aramaic portions 
in Daniel into Hebrew. Comparing that language of his 
own translation with the language of the legends, say, of 
Abraham or Kenaz, we find them differing so much from 
one another that both cannot be the work of one and the 
same author. This is another proof for the authenticity 
and the accuracy of his transcript of the ancient Chronicle ; 
always assuming this Jerahmeel not to be identical with 
Philo, but to be the name of a later compiler, who incor- 
porated into his work the old composition that went under 
the name of Philo. We thus set at rest the gratuitous 
assumption of Neubauer and others, who have completely 
misunderstood Jerahmeel's introductory sentences to the 
Aramaic version of the Song of the Three Children in the 
furnace and the Daniel-legends, published by me, viz., that 
they had been translated by Jerahmeel from a Greek or 
another source. They are old and genuine original texts, 
as already remarked above. 

It is not at all unlikely that the original Jerahmeel or 
the original chronicle which Jerahmeel copied out was as 
full as the Latin text, and may have gone further than the 


Latin, including also a short reference to the destruction of 
the Temple, so as to cover the whole ground of the Bible, 
to which Yosippon would then be the natural continuation. 
Has Jerahmeel curtailed it, or is it due to the editorial 
activity of Eleazar the Levite, who seems to have taken some 
liberties with his text ? This must remain an open question 
until a new manuscript is discovered. Eleazar, at any 
rate, is under the impression that the older portion coincides 
with the biblical period, and connects the text of Yosippon 
almost immediately with the account of the Exiles to which 
the Jews had been subjected. The version of the Yosippon 
in our manuscript agrees on the whole with the old text 
printed by Conte* (ante 1480) ; and the Apocrypha which it 
contains, and with which I intend dealing later on when 
studying each chapter by itself, prove them not to be 
translated from the Latin or from the Greek, as some have 
rather hastily assumed, but to be independent versions of 
ancient origin, maybe reflecting the originals. For one or 
two at least, like the dream of Mordecai, it will be shown 
that they are extant in manuscripts much older than the 
date which Neubauer, and Perles before him, agreed to 
assign to Jerahmeel. He, therefore, could not have been 
the translator of texts that exist in Hebrew or in Aramaic 
before his time. And as it can be proved regarding some 
of the texts contained in our compilation that they are 
much older than the time of the compiler, we are justified 
to claim great age for the rest of the biblical Apocrypha 
in this Chronicle, which also go back to a far greater 
antiquity than scholars have hitherto assumed. It is for 
this reason that I have brought this Chronicle to a close 
with the Book of the Maccabee, the last Biblical Apocryphum 
in the volume. It must be left to special studies to ascer- 
tain the exact date of each of them, and the relation in 
which these Apocrypha of the Bible stand to the known 
Syriac, Greek, and Latin versions. 

I shall now proceed to discuss each chapter separately ; 

■^ Guided by the spelling of this name in the colophon to some of 
his editions, I have been the first to substitute this reading of ' Conte ' 
for the hitherto current form ' Cunath.' 


to show, if possible, the immediate source whence each has 
been drawn ; to trace its parallels in the Hebrew literature, 
and whenever possible in cognate literatures. In order to 
facilitate references, I have divided the text into chapters 
and paragraphs, following in the main the indications in the 
manuscript. This investigation will form at the same time 
a commentary to the various texts, and will show in many 
instances the value that is to be attached to each text from 
a critical point of view. In a few instances, we shall find 
tw^o versions of one and the same legend, which proves the 
faithfulness of the compiler. "When he found two texts 
dealing with the same subject, but somewhat different in 
form, he did not hesitate to copy both and to place them 
one next to the other. Each of them will be treated by 

The works to which reference is chiefly made, in so far 
as Hebrew parallels and bibliography are concerned, are : 
Zunz, 'Die Gottesdienstlichen A'ortnige der Juden,' second 
edition, Frankfurt-a-M., 1892 (Zunz, G. V.-) ; A. Jellinek, 
' Bet ha-Midrasch,' vols, i.-vi. (Jellinek, ' B. H.') ; and the 
' Sepher Hayashar,' ed Princeps, Venice, 1625 (Yashar). I 
have subdivided this last work into chapters and verses, 
following the English translation, ' The Book of Jasher,' 
New York, 1840. As all the Hebrew^ editions are divided 
in accordance with the biblical large divisions of the 
Pentateuch, I add a comparative table : Chapters i.-ii., 
Bereshit ; iii.-xiii., 21, Noah ; xiii. 22-xvii., Lekhlekha ; 
xviii-xxiii., Yayera ; xxiv.-xxv., Hayyei Sarah ; xxvi.-xxix., 
Toledoth; xxx.-xxxi, Yayese; xxxii.-xL, Yayishlah; xli.-xlvii., 
Yayesheb; xlviii.-liii., Miqes ; liv.-lv., Yayigash ; Ivi.'lviii., 
Yayehi ; lix.-lxxix., Shemoth ; Ixxx.-lxxvii., Bo; Ixxxiii., 
Vayiqra ; Ixxxiv.-lxxxvi., Bemidbar ; Ixxxvii., Eleh ha- 
debarim ; Ixxxviii.-xc, Yehoshua ; xci., Shofetim. 

In the notes that I give I do not aim at reproducing 
the whole bibliography, when it is already given by Zunz, 
or by Buber, or in any of the books referred to. It is a 
useless show of erudition, and does not further our 
investigation. My principal aim is to mention, in the 


first instance, those texts which show the closest similarity 
with our compilation, and which are either direct somxes, 
or, at any rate, stand nearest in age and in form to the 
immediate source from which the compiler drew his text. 
Eeference is necessarily made to non-Jewish parallels, 
in the first place to Syriac and Arabic. I refer, in the 
first instance, to M. Gruenbaum, ' Neue Beitrage fiir 
Semitischen Sagenkunde, Leiden, 1893.' Many scholars 
have assumed that legends and parallels found, for 
instance, in the Book of Yashar, or in the chapters of 
Eabbi Eliezer, son of Hyrqanos, parallel to Mahomedan 
legends, must have been borrowed from the latter source. 
But conclusive evidence is still missing, and I do not think 
that the time has yet come to draw final conclusions. 
Many more legendary texts may surge up from the depth 
of antiquity hitherto unknown, which will throw a new 
light upon the materials existing in Hebrew literature. 
The recent discovery of the Yemenite homiletical literature, 
such as the Midrash Haggadol, for instance ; then my find 
of the old collection of ' Piabbinical Exempla ' (legends), 
dating probably from the fifth or sixth century, fragments 
found by me among the pieces from the Geniza in Cairo, 
may modify, and have to a certain extent modified, such 
views. But as these literatures have undoubtedly borrowed 
one from the other, I thought it right to refer to them when- 
ever I considered necessary. The Slavonic Palfea, being a 
reflex of the Greek compilation, which, in the light of this 
discovery of Philo-Jerahmeel, I believe to have stood in 
close relation to the Greek text, as well as to some old 
translation of the Book of Yashar, or with the elements 
contained therein, has also been referred to by me, when 
the similarity proved striking. Special attention have I 
given, then, to Petrus Comestor's ' Historia Scholastica ' 
(ed. Migne, Patrologia, vol. cxciii., Paris, 1855), in which 
he has utilized, as he states distinctly (in Genesis, chapter 
xxxvii.) the w^ork of ' Philo,' and who has also all those 
synchronistic elements so prominent a feature of Jerahmeel. 
Comestor says : ' Narrat autem Philo Judaeus vel ut alii 


volunt Gentiliis philosophus in libro Quaestionum super 
Genesim,'and finally Fabricius's invaluable 'Codex Pseudo- 
Epigraphus Yeteris Testamenti.' All the other authorities 
will be quoted in full when referred to singly. 

Chapter I. — Starting from the history of the Creation, 
our compiler takes as basis for this description a 
fragmentary collection of legends known as the chapters 
of Eabbi Eliezer. It is not my intention here to enter 
into a detailed examination of each of these sources. I am 
referring to the principal ones, especially to those which, 
by being utilized to a larger extent by the compiler, claim 
our special consideration. In that book of 'Eliezer,' for 
instance, we find for the first time a description of the 
fall of Satan, and many details which, by a long process 
of transmission, have had also an influence upon Milton's 
' Paradise Lost.' The last word has not yet been spoken 
about this book, whose reputed author is Eliezer, the son 
of Hyrqanos, of the first century of the Common Era. 
Some scholars have ascribed that book to the seventh or 
eighth century, because a few allusions to Mahomedanism 
are found in it ; but the book belongs unquestionably to 
a much higher antiquity, and many incidents point to 
more ancient sources, akin with those utilized by the author 
of the Book of Jubilees and the Book of Enoch. My 
references are to the edition made by David Lurya 
(Warsaw, 1852), whose commentary contains to each detail 
in the book the whole parallel literature ; when I add 
numbers to the chapters quoted, I refer to the numbers 
of the notes. 

Chapter I. of Jerahmeel corresponds, then, with Chapter iii. 
of Eliezer Hyrqanos. In a few instances biblical references 
are omitted in our text ; such is the case at the end of 
paragraph 2 and the end of paragraph 7. Chapter II. 
Jerahmeel corresponds to Eliezer, Chapter v. ; Chapter III., 
paragraph 1, is taken from Eliezer, Chapter vi. In the 
latter book there follows a minute description of the rules 
of the Jewish Calendar, of the movement of the planets, in 
which point that book resembles other ancient Apocryphal 


books. The calculation of the calendar is one of the chief 
items of interest with almost every one of those ancient 
writers ; it fills many chapters in the Book of Enoch, and 
the w^hole of the Book of Jubilees is unquestionably an 
attempt to establish such a calendar. The Rabbinical 
dissentient calendar finds, then, its expression in these 
chapters of Eliezer, and in a book, lost up to quite recent 
time, attributed to Mar Samuel. A small portion of this 
'Barayta,' as it is called, has been recovered and pub- 
lished in Salonic, 1861. Zunz describes (in ' Hamazkir,' 
vol. v., p. 15, 1862) the history of this astronomical work. 
There seems to have existed an intimate connection, 
hitherto not sufficiently explained, between this work, 
ascribed to Samuel, and the astronomical portions in the 
Book of Eliezer Hyrqanos, as ancient quotations from the 
latter, now missing in our text, are found in that Barayta 
of Samuel. I mention these points here because similar 
portions are found in the following chapters of Jerahmeel, 
which at first sight appear intercalated from Samuel's 
Barayta, between the continuous quotations from the 
Chapters of Eabbi Eliezer. Their appearance here proves 
the text preserved in Jerahmeel' s compilation, which agrees 
with the old quotations, to be the fullest and more correct 
than that found in the edition of the Chapters of Eabbi 
Eliezer. The order in which the things are quoted by 
Jerahmeel is slightly different from that of the published 
text; for Chapter III., paragraphs 2, 3, are taken literally 
from the beginning of Chapter vii. of Eabbi Eliezer ; whilst 
Chapter IV., paragraph 4, is identical with a portion from 
Chapter vi. of Eabbi Eliezer. Instead of continuing the 
text as in Eabbi Eliezer, Chapter vii., with that calendaristic 
calculation (which is probably a later interpolation from a 
different source or an abstract from a larger work), we have, 
in our text of Jerahmeel, paragraph 6 et seq., totally different 
elements, now missing in Eliezer, but preserved in that 
very book which is ascribed to Samuel. But of this only 
a fragment has hitherto been recovered, and that explains 
why paragraph 6 is missing in this text ; w^e find it, 


however, in the ' Barayta of Creation,' pubhshed by Buber 
and Chones (' Yerioth Shelomo,' Warsaw, 1896, p. 50). A 
similar text is to be found in the 'Pardes' ascribed to Rashi 
(vide Lurya to end of Chapter vii. of Eabbi EHezer, No. 68, 
et seq.), then in ' Sode Eazaya,' and in the Yalqut Makhiri 
to Ps. Ixxxi. (my codex. No. 100, fol. 191a). 

Jerahmeel, Chapter lY., agrees remotely with the actual 
text of Eabbi Eliezer, Chapter vii. Concerning the planets, 
we find their names, etc., mentioned in the book 'Yesira,' 
chap, iv., then Eashi to the following treatises of the 
Talmud: Berakoth, 595, Sabbath, 129/>, Erubin, 56a; in 
the Zohar to Haazinu, fol. 287«, also in the Midrash 
Haggadol to Genesis (my manuscript, No. 1, fol. 15c). In 
paragraph 2, which is undoubtedly an interpolation of 
Eleazar the Levite, the last compiler of the book, we have 
the oldest list of German names of the days of the week 
and their primitive form as known in the Ehine Province 
about the end of the twelfth century. The same list is 
repeated once more at the end of the whole manuscript, 
proving this interpolation to be due to Eleazar the Levite. 
Paragraphs 3 and 4 agree with chap. vii. of the Barayta 
of Samuel. But our text is much shorter than the 
parallels, which we find also in the ' Sode Eazaya ' quoted 
in ' Y'alqut Eeubeni ' (fol. 7a), and in that book which goes 
under the name of the Angel ' Eaziel ' (ed. Amsterdam, 
fol. nb). The two books * Sode Eazaya ' and ' Eaziel ' 
owe their present form to Eabbi Eleazar of Worms, 
who lived in the thirteenth century, and made use of 
extremely ancient Midrashim. Paragraphs 5-9 are identical 
with chap. ix. of the Barayta of Samuel. Here the reverse 
has taken place, for the fuller form seems to have been 
preserved in Jerahmeel, as many details, such as the form 
of each of the seven planets, and the description of the 
things over which they are appointed, are missing in the 
Barayta of Samuel. We are dealing in this chapter with 
some of the old astrological data current in ancient times 
(c/. Boucher Leclerque, ' L'astrologie Grecque,' Paris, 1899). 

Chapter Y. — The thread of the narrative according to the 

Ixii . 

chapters of Eliezer Hyrqanos is resumed with Chapter Y., 
which corresponds with part of Chapter ix. 

Chapter YI., paragraph 1, is taken from Chapter xi. 
of EHezer. Chapter YI., paragraph 2, and part of para- 
graph 3, cf. Treat. Sanhedrin, fol. 38a, l, where the text 
is much shorter. Paragraphs 3-5, the consultation of God 
with the angels about the creation of man, are identical 
in form with the book that goes under the title ' Midrash 
Konen' (ed. Jellinek, ' B. H.,' ii., pp. 26-27), also dealing 
with the Creation. It is very much like the first chapters 
of our book, and it is attributed to the compiler of the 
book ' Eaziel.' Everything, however, seems to point to 
the conclusion that the text in Jerahmeel has retained 
the very original form, and that all the quotations in 
other writings are merely portions from what originally 
has been a continuous narrative in the chapters of Eliezer, 
though it is now missing in the printed text of that book. 
The abstract from this work of Eliezer is, in fact, con- 
tinued here as if no break had occurred between. The 
very beginning and end of Jerahmeel, Chapter YI., are 
identical with Eliezer, Chapter xi., though the intermediate 
portions are now missing there, and are found scattered 
through the pages of the Talmud, in the ' Midrash Konen,' 
and other books. I have not been able hitherto to find a 
single parallel to paragraph 6 in the Hebrew literature ; 
only Arabic writers like Tabari, Iben El Atir, and Masudi 
have it {cf. Greenbaum, ' Beitrage,' p. 62) ; cf. also {ihid., 
p. 55) all the Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac parallels to 
paragraph 7, concerning the elements out of which the 
human body was created. 

Chapter YL, paragraph 7, to the end of Chapter YIL, 
is taken continuously from Eliezer, Chapter xi.. No. 28, to 
Chapter xii.. No. 60. The first seven chapters dealing 
with the Creation are thus undoubtedly all taken from one 
and the same book — the Chapters of Eliezer — and not 
pieced together from quotations and minor fragments 
collected from various writings. We have thus a difterent 
recension, more complete and better rounded off, of that 


book of Eliezer, which m itself is also a problem in 
Hebrew literary history. Concerning various details in 
these last two chapters, especially those that have been 
admitted into many other literatures, I would give a few 
more parallels from the Hebrew. So we find to Chapter YL, 
paragraphs 8, 9 identical wording in the Tanhuma, Parasha 
Pequdei, paragraph 3 to the end (ed. Venice, folio 51^). 
To paragraphs 7 to 10 also ' Midrash Haggadol,' loc. cit. 
(folio 20c). To paragraph 10, about the hours in which 
Adam and Eve were created, sinned, etc., (/. Tanhuma, 
(ed. Buber, vol. i., p. 18, No. 195), where the whole parallel 
literature is given. How long Adam and Eve lived in 
Paradise is a question that agitated ancient writers, and 
we find an echo in the old Slavonic Lucidarius, in the 
so-called Questions of St. Athanasius, etc. To para- 
graph 11 cf. Targum Jerushalmi to Genesis, chapter ii., 
ver. 7 ; and, moreover, Greenbaum, loc. cit., p. 60, who 
refers to the Book of Adam, to the Koran, and other 
Oriental writings. To Chapter YH., paragraph 1, et seq., 
cf. Tanhuma, ed. Buber, i., folio 58h, and Pesiqta of Kabbi 
Kahana, ed. Buber, folio "dlh. 

Chapter IX. — Following upon the creation of the world 
comes now the treatise of the formation of the human 
being. Between these two I have omitted a chapter (YIH.) 
of the Hebrew text, giving anatomical details, and quoting, 
among others, as an authority Ibn Ezra. Independent 
of that is Chapter IX., probably a very ancient legend. 
Fragments of it occur in various old writings. Para- 
graphs 4, 5 are found in the Talmud, Tr. Niddah, folio 30/>. 
Paragraph 9, ride 'Midrash Ecclesiastes,' chapter i.,ver. 1; 
cj: ' Yalqut,' vol. ii., folio 182/>, paragraph 966. We find it, 
moreover, in an anonymous compilation, which goes under 
the name of ' Abqath Piokhel,' folio 23a (ed. Amsterdam), 
from which it has been reprinted by Jellinek, ' B. H.,' vol. i., 
p. 153 et seq. But our text is much more like the one 
incorporated into the Tanhuma, loc. cit., paragraph 3, 
(folio 51h), where it follows immediately upon the same tales 
as that at the end of Jerahmeel, Chapter YI., paragraph 9, 


being thus a direct continuation of the description how 
God created man. Paragraphs 1 to 4 are also found in the 
Midrash to the Ten Commandments (Precept 6). Giidemann 
has treated these legends in the ' Monatschrift f. d. Gesch. 
d. Judent,' and tried to identify them with the legends 
of Horus — the child God wdth a finger at His mouth. 
We may have here some reminiscences of the old Platonic 
ideas of man's soul knowdng everything before birth, and 
that our learning in this world is merely a recollection of 
things know^n before. 

In Chapter X. we have one of those old books which 
have been preserved in an incomplete form in various 
compilations, of which I have, moreover, found fragments 
among the texts recovered from the Geniza in Cairo. Eliah 
de Yidas, in his work ' Pieshit Hokhmah,' has incorporated 
many such old Apocryphal legends which he found in the 
sixteenth century in Palestine. He has reprinted there 
also this very text, though not in the same order, it forming 
in his book chapter xii. of the division ' Sha'ar hayirah ' (ed. 
Amsterdam, folio 40a ; ed. Constantinople, folio S7h). The 
order in Vidas as compared to the paragraphs in Jerahmeel 
is as follows : Yidas begins with what is in Jerahmeel para- 
graph 9, then follows first part of paragraph 12, a little of 
paragraph 10, then the second half of paragraph 7, and 
finally the whole of the paragraphs 8, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, to end. It 
is evident that paragraphs 2-7 formed probably the kernel 
of this ' Admonition to the sinner.' This text is called the 
' Pearl of Eabbi Meir ' by Yidas, whilst it figures as the 
' Pearl of Eab ' in an abstract made of this chapter in the 
' Shebet Musar,' p. 7, of Eliah Hacohen, of Smyrna (vide 
also Jellinek, 'B. H.,' ii., pp. 120-122). My fragment from 
the Geniza (codex No. 289), from which the beginning is 
missing, is absolutely identical with our text from para- 
graph 3 on to the middle of paragraph 7. Some of it is 
found also in my codex. No. 220, a manuscript probably of 
the eighteenth century, coming from Yemen. The second 
half of the text, from paragraph 10 onwards, is only found 
in Jerahmeel. The knowledge of this ' Admonition ' seems 


to have been limited to ^Yrite^s ^Yho have lived, and to 
compilations that have been made, in the East. This points 
to the East as the source whence also the other element 
contained in om' present compilation may have been drawn. 
To the same source belongs also Chapter XL Only to 
paragraphs 1-4 have I been able to find a parallel legend, 
viz., with Vision V., paragraphs 13, 14, of the ' Visions of 
Heaven and "Hell,' published by me {Journal of the Royal 
Asiatic Society, 1893, p. 603). The source for it I found in 
a manuscript of the Orhot Hayim, vol. ii. It is also in 
Jellinek, * B. H.' v., p. 50. To paragraph 4 compare 
T. Berakhoth, folio 11a, and in Vidas, 'Eesh. Hokhma,' 
Chapter xii., paragraph 4 ; whilst paragraph 5 is also found 
in the work ' Hibbut Haqeber,' that is ' The Beating of 
the Grave ' (Jellinek, ' B. H.,' ii., pp. 151, 152). No parallel 
have I been able to find to our text from paragraph 6 to the 
end of the chapter. 

Chapter XIL, as well as the following chapters, deals with 
the eschatological questions of life after death, of punish- 
ment and reward. They belong to that large circle of 
Apocalyptic visions of Heaven, Hell and Paradise, to which 
attention has recently been drawn again in a prominent 
form by the discovery of the Apocalypse of Peter. The 
time has not yet arrived to decide as to whence all these 
notions have come, whether they are of Jewish origin or 
of Egyptian origin, and in how far the Orphic mysteries 
have anything to do with them. All these teachings seem 
to have had a share in these Apocalypses, but it is impossible 
to believe that such notions should have been admitted into 
Jewish and Christian circles, and still less in the latter, 
unless they were already current in the minds of the people, 
and were considered as genuine religious representations of 
life after death. In spite of Dietriech's strictures in his 
' Nekyia ' (Leipzig, 1893), especially p. 223, and his attempt 
to find their origin exclusively in Greek classical antiquity, 
he must look to the East as the true source of these 
mystical inspirations and mystical teachings. New-Pytha- 
gorean and New-Platonic views are not an oriojinal growth 


upon the soil of Hellas. And the whole magical literature 
that is so closely connected with the cult of the dead, and 
with these eschatological views of life after death, was 
evolved by the Greeks only after they had imbibed those 
teachings in the East. 

The pure Hebrew language of these texts, especially 
those dealing with visions of heaven and hell, proves their 
extreme antiquity. Although for various statements refer- 
ence is made to the Bible, the Eabbinical literature is 
entirely ignored in them, save a few later interpolations. 
Dietriech has entirely misunderstood the drift of my argu- 
ments and the value of the texts of those Hebrew visions 
published by me. A fragment, moreover, w^hich I consider 
to be the oldest in existence, which has come to light also 
from the ' Geniza ' and is now^ my property, carries us far 
back, maybe to the eighth or ninth century. No text as 
yet shown to exist can be proved to be a translation from a 
non-Jewdsh source. Not that I claim special priority for 
them. The views expressed therein are not countenanced 
by the representative teachers of Judaism, and their exist- 
ence is in fact surprising in Jewish literature ; but I 
consider them to stand on a par, as to age and importance, 
with the whole cycle of Apocryphal and Apocalyptic litera- 
ture, to which I reckon also the books of magic ; and much 
may be due to the hitherto not yet sufficiently recognised 
literary activity of some such Jewish sect as the Essenes 
or other unknown authorities, who are known to have been 
addicted to this kind of mystic speculation. Just as much 
as the Essenes can be credited with the description of the 
heavenly halls in the Hekhaloth and the place of Paradise, 
so also may we credit them with a description of the tortures 
of hell. Fragments of, and parallels to, such descriptions 
are found already in the Book of Enoch in abundance, and 
not a few are mentioned in the Testaments of the Tw^elve 
Patriarchs, not to speak of the New Testament and other 
Apocalyptic writings. 

Chapter XII. is probably the beginning of that Apocry- 
phal tale which is continued in Chapter XIII . under 


the title of ' The Beating of the Grave.' EHah de Vidas 
has the whole of it, beginning from Chapter XII., para- 
graph 3, up to Chapter XIII., end of paragraph 6, forming 
paragraphs 1-3 in his Chapter xii. He evidently has left 
out the beginning, which was known to Eliah Levita in his 
' Tishbi,' and which is also found in a very mutilated form 
in a late manuscript; reprinted hence by Jellinek (' B. H.,' 
vol. v., p. 48). 

Our text again appears to be the fullest and the most 
coherent. From paragraph 7 on we have here a kind of 
short abstract from w^hat is given afterwards in a very 
complete form in Chapters XIV. -XVII., containing a 
minute description of hell. In the parallels of this 
description I limit myself almost exclusively to the refer- 
ence to my edition of those Apocalyptic Visions where I 
have indicated the whole Jewish and non-Jewish literature, 
including references to the Apocalypses of Peter, Paul, 
Virgin Mary, etc. I add here the reference to the ' Pieshith 
Hokhmah,' Chapter xiii., which agrees with our Chapters 
XIV. and XV., and to the extremely ancient manuscript 
from the Geniza, mentioned above, with which this portion 
agrees absolutely. 

Passing on to the detailed parallelism, we find Chapter 
XIV., paragraph 2, up to Chapter XV., paragraph 6, 
identical with Vision No. V., paragraphs 1-9 (p. 599 et seq.). 
Chapter XV., paragraphs 7-9, is identical with Vision No. V., 
paragraphs 20-22 (pp. 601, 605). 

Chapter XVI., paragraphs 1-5, is identical with the text 
of Orhot Hayim, to which I have referred already above, 
being a continuation of Chapter XL, paragraph 4, and is 
to be found in that same Vision V., paragraphs 15-19 
(pp. 603-605). The continuation to Chapter XV., para- 
graph 9, reappears here in Chapter XVI., par^raph 6, 
corresponding with paragraph 23 of Vision V. Para- 
graph 7 of Chapter XVI. is identical with paragraph 24 
of Vision V., whilst paragraph 8 differs here from the 
version published in the ' Visions.' 

Chapter XVII. — Portions of this chapter are found in 



Yision VIL, paragraph 4, but in a different order and 
altered form. There are also parallels to it in Vision I., 
paragraph 42, and Vision V., paragraph 24 ; to paragraph 1 
here cf. also ' Yalqut Eeubeni,' fol. 3Z>. * Midrash Konen,' 
55 and (Sa (Jellinek, * B. H.,' vol. ii., pp. 35, 36), has a 
parallel legend to end of paragraph 1 and of paragraph 4. 
Concerning the names of Hell, cf. also the Talmudic 
treatise Ernbin, fol. 19a. Paragraph 6 leads from hell 
to Paradise. 

Chapters XVIII., XIX. — The chief personage in these two 
Visions, the man to whom these revelations are made and 
who is the hero in the oldest documents, is Eabbi Joshua, 
son of Levi. We have here probably an unintentional 
alteration from Isaiah, as in one place Isaiah is suddenly 
mentioned, and we know of the existence of such an Apoca- 
lypse of Isaiah, the ' Ascensio Isaiae.' Maybe it is a later 
ascription to the man of whom legend told that he was in 
friendly relations with the Angel of Death. Whether it is 
due to popular etymology and analogy of name, or to a 
definite intentional alteration, it is difficult to determine. 
The oldest texts all agree, at any rate, in ascribing these 
revelations to Piabbi Joshua, the son of Levi. The text 
published in Chapter XVIII. is probably the oldest of all 
known, and agrees in the main with the version contained 
in 'Mahazor Vitry ' (pp. 735-736). It is found further in 
' Yalqut,' i., fol. la, par. 20 ; ' Shebet Musar,' ch. xxv. ; 
and Jellinek, ' B. H.,' vol. 2, pp. 52, 53 ; also ' Midrash 
Talpiyoth' (ed. Lemberg, 1875), p. 595; and in 'Visions,' 
No. IV., p. 596 ct seq. 

Chapter XIX., paragraph 1, recurs thus far in its com- 
plete form once more in the manuscript reprinted by 
Jellinek, vol. v., p. 43. Its contents occur also in the 
Midrash k) Psalm xi., ver. 6 (ed. Buber, pp. 101, 102 ; cf. 
note No. 48). The w^hole is also mentioned by Eleazar of 
Worms in his w^ork ' Hokhmath Hanephesh,' and is partly 
alluded to in the ' Pesiqta Eabbati ' (ed. Friedman), fol. 
198a. To paragraph 4 cf ' Visions,' No. I., paragraph 48 
(p. 584) ; the ' Apocalypse of Paul,' ch. xliv. ; and ' Pesiqta 


Eabbati,' fol. 112a ; vide also the study of Israel Levi in 
the Berne des Etudes Jiiives. 

Chapters XX., XXI. — The first two paragraphs of 
Chapter XX. are raissing in every other parallel text, but 
from paragraph 3 on our text is identical with Vision III., 
paragraphs 10-17. A short version of the journey of 
Joshua, the son of Levi, accompanied by the Angel of 
Death, is to be found in my ' Exempla of the Eabbis,' 
No. 138, where also a short description of what he sees in 
Paradise is given. The description is continued, as here, 
in Chapter XIII. , paragraphs 1-3, in 'Visions,' No. III., 
paragraphs 20-21. From paragraph 4 to the end a new 
description of hell is ascribed to Joshua, the son of Levi. 
It agrees with the version preserved by Nachmanides, 
reprinted in the ' B. H.' by Jellinek, vol. v., p. 43 et seq., 
as well as with that contained in * Orhot Hayim,' and in 
' Midrash Konen,' 4a, published by me, ' Visions,' No. VI., 
pp. 605-607. Our text agrees best with that of Nachman- 
ides, reprinted by Eisenmenger, 'Entdecktes Judenthum,' 
vol. ii., pp. 340, 341. 

Chapter XXII. — After this long interpolation, dealing 
with eschatological subjects, our author returns to the 
history of Adam and Eve and their progeny on earth. 
Chapter XXIL, paragraphs 1-4, is an abstract from the 
Book of Eliezer, chap. xiii. The cause of the fall of the 
Angel Samael is here given in a totally different form, 
and agrees in the main with the first chapter of the Latin 
version of the ' Historia Ad».' A close parallel to this 
version we find in the manuscript ' Genesis Eabbati,' from 
which Epstein has published a similar legend in his 
'Eldad ha Dani' (Presburg, 1891, pp. 66-68, and notes, 
p. 75 et seq.). The reprint by Epstein, who has not 
noticed that the text is found also in Martini's ' Pugio ' 
(p. 425, ed. Paris), does not, however, go far enough, for 
we find in the ' Genesis Eabbati,' according to the quota- 
tion in the 'Pugio' {vide above, p. xlix), also the phoenix 
legend, agreeing with the latter part of this legend in 


It is evident, as already noted above, that the author, 
Moses Hadarshan, must have had our collection of legend- 
ary tales at his disposal. The form of the legends in 
the ' Ber. Eabbati ' proves it to be a later development, 
especially as the name of Samael is changed into Satcm 
{cf. also the Syriac Legends in ' Schatzhoele,' ed. Betzold, 
pp. 4, 8 ; videWeil, ' Biblische Legenden,' p. 15). There is 
no necessity now to assume with Epstein that this is one 
of the legends invented by, or derived from, Eldad ; still 
less can we consider it as being of a Christian Abyssinian 
origin, and borrowed hence; it is much more likely that 
the reverse has happened. The Hebrew represents an 
older tradition, retained in a most complete form in this 
chapter of Jerahmeel's compilation. There are other 
details also in it (from paragraph 4 onwards), which 
are found nowhere else together except in the ' Eabbati,' 
whilst only to a few details parallels can be found scattered 
through various works of the Hebrew literature. Quota- 
tions of such a kind are not, as some have hitherto believed, 
proofs that a later author has taken pains to collect 
scattered allusions and legends from numberless books and 
treatises, and has welded them together so as to form one 
single small tale. The reverse has undoubtedly taken 
place. A complete legend has been composed at a given 
time, and portions of it are then quoted and utilized by 
writers of various ages, everyone selecting from it that 
portion which suited his fancy or his subject best. 

The occurrence, therefore, of details or elements of a 
long and complete text in other compositions is, to my 
mind, rather a proof that the complete tale is the older, 
which has been laid under contribution by later writers, 
and not that the reverse has taken place, so that 
the complete legend has been compiled in a mosaic- 
artic fashion from most heterogeneous books and writings. 
In this case, we have thus in Jerahmeel the primitive 
and complete legend. We find an allusion to the second 
half of paragraph 5 in ' Genesis Kabba ' (section 19, para- 
graph 9, and section 20, paragraph 19). Paragraphs 6 


and 7 as well as 8 contain two versions of the old famous 
legend of the phoenix, which forms part of the old 
Physiologus. In the Hebrew literature we find both : the 
one corresponding to the first tradition (paragraphs 6, 7) 
occurring in the ' Alphabetum Siracidis ' (ed. Steinschneider, 
Berlin, 1858, fol. 29a, h) in a somewhat shorter form, and the 
other in 'Genesis Eabba' {loc. cit.; further, Midrash Samuel, 
chapter xii., paragraph 81), also a little different, then in 
the Genesis Eabbati, MS. Prague, and in Martini's quotation 
' Pugio,' p. 453. 

Chapter XXIII., a similar legendary composition, from 
which fragments only can be traced in various writings, 
but nowhere is the whole text found, as here, in a continuous 
narrative. To pavagraph 1, the history of Lilith and the 
origin of the Demons, there is a parallel in the same 
*Alphabetum Siracidis,' fol. 23a, h, which shows that the 
author of that work, which I place latest in the seventh 
century, knew already those legends and tales {cf. Treatise 
of Erubin, fol. 18; Genesis Eabba, chap, xx., xxiv.). In our 
version the chief hero is Methusela, not Adam, as in Sira, 
who must have been one of the old heroes of Apocalyptic 
literature. Enoch reveals visions to Methusela (Book 
of Enoch, chap. Ixxxii., et seq.), and many ancient 
interpretations of his name are to be found in the old 
'Onomastica' (ed. Lagarde, p. 8, line 10, and p. 65, line 10). 
Fabricius, pp. 224-226, refers to the Midrash Abkir, which 
must have been a similar collection of biblical Apocrypha 
very much alike in character to Philo- Jerahmeel and to the 
Yashar ; only fragments have been preserved. A manu- 
script of it still known to de Eossi, in the sixteenth century 
has since disappeared ; only stray fragments are to be found. 
In one of these (Yalqut, i., fol. 42, and No. 4 in the 
separate edition of Buber, pp. 2-3) we find a literal 
parallel to paragraph 5, and also an indication of 
Methusela's knowledge of magic. A preceding and now 
lost portion of the Abkir may have contained these para- 
graphs which precede it here. To paragraphs 1-4, cf. also 
Book of Jubilees, chap, viii., ver. 5, and a similar fragment 


from Abkir is quoted by Buber in ' Yerioth Shelomo ' 
(Warsaw, 1896, p. 47). 

Concerning the images made by Enosh, paragraphs 6, 7, 
we find only a remote parallel, probably only an abbreviated 
quotation from here, in Genesis Kabba, chap, xxiii., section 9, 
and an allusion to it in Ibn Yahya's ' Shalsheleth Haqqab- 
bala' (ed. Venice, fol. 92^). But this is derived probably 
from the ' Supplementum Chronicarum ' of Foresti. I am 
inclined to believe that the ancient chronicle of Philo- 
Jerahmeel must have commenced with this Chapter XXIII. , 
although the Latin text begins much later. 

Chapter XXIV. is of a similar character, with very few 
parallels in Hebrew literature. The name of Cain's wife, 
Qalmana, is mentioned by Ibn Yahya, loc. cit., fol. 92/>, and 
long before him in Pseudo-Methodius. The oldest source thus 
far is the Book of Jubilees {ride Eonsch, p. 373, where the 
names of the two daughters of Adam according to all the 
ancient traditions are given). Our text, especially para- 
graphs 1-4 and paragraphs 7, 8, corresponds in many details 
with Josephus, 'Antiquities,' book i., chap, ii., sections 2, 3 ; 
vide also Fabricius, p. 119. In many details we find from 
here onwards a close resemblance with Comestor's 'Historia 
Scholastica,' cf. ' Genesis,' chap, xxv., and for paragraphs 
5-8 of our text, ride Comestor, ibid., chap, xxviii. Comestor 
assigns the erection of the two pillars to Tubal Cain, like 
our Hebrew text, whilst other authorities ascribe these to 
Adam, Seth, or to others {ride Fabricius, p. 148). 

From paragraph 8 to end of chapter cf. Comestor, 
' Genesis,' chap. xxxi. In the Hebrew literature we find 
merely a reference to Tubal's activity in the Jerusal. 
Targum to Genesis, chap, iv., vers. 21, 22, and in Rashi, ibid. 

The origin of the Elohim and their identification with 
the seed of Seth and not with fallen angels, as set forth here 
in paragraph 10, et seq., differs completely from the tradi- 
tion in the chapters of Piabbi Eliezer (Chapter xxii.), where 
the giants are considered to be the children of angels that 
had intermarried with human beings. According to the 
tradition in our text, they are the offspring from the 


mixture between the seed of Seth and the seed of Cain. 
The same tradition is fomid especially in Christian pseudo- 
epigraphic literature like the Christian Book of Adam 
(pp. 82-93) ; the 'Cave of Treasures ' (p. 10), in Cedrenus, 
ed. Bonn, vol. i., p. 19, and Eutychius's 'Annals,' vol. i., 
pp. 21-26 ; further, in Arabic authors like Tabari, Jakubi, 
Ibn el Atir (ride Gruenbaum, loc. cit, pp. 73, 74, and 76, 77). 
Ibn Ezra to Genesis, chap, vi., ver. 2, has a similar tradition. 

Chapter XXV., the legend of the fallen angels, brings 
us back to the Midrash Abkir, because there alone we find 
an absolutely identical legend. It seems also to have 
entered into the Midrash Kabbati in a somewhat shorter 
form. In the name of Moses the Darshan it is quoted by 
Eeymundus in his ' Pugio Fidei ' (Paris, 1651), pp. 7-9. 
In his version paragraphs 7-11 of our text are omitted. 

The longer version, identical with ours, has been pre- 
served by the ' Yalqut ' (paragraph 44, fol. 12?>-12c) from 
the Midrash Abkir. The antiquity of this legend is shown 
by the fact that the central portion of it is found in the 
Book of Enoch, chap, vi.-x. (ed. Charles, pp. 62-77). The 
tendency is here somewhat different, as the angels are 
lustful after women and therefore descend from heaven, 
whilst in the Hebrew version it is a more ethical principle 
which induces them to descend from heaven, viz., to show 
that they are above human vices, but they, like human 
beings, fall also a victim to their presumption. The name 
of the virtuous girl who ascends to heaven and is placed 
among the Pleiades is Estira ( = star). The whole of the 
first part is entirely omitted in the Book of Enoch, which 
is, however, no proof that this version is not at least as old 
as the Book of Enoch. Concerning the activity of the two 
fallen angels, especially of Azael, vide Lagarde, ' Materialien,' 
etc., vol. ii., p. 57, and Gruenbaum, p. 74. 

Chapters XXVI. -XXX. inclusive are absolutely identical 
with the Latin 'Philo,' which commences here. In the first 
part of this introduction I have dealt largely with the proof 
that the Latin text cannot be considered as the original, 
and that the Hebrew proves to be the older of the two 


versions. The spirit that breathes through the pages of 
this book is the same which animated the author of the 
Book of Jubilees and other similar attempts of a genea- 
logical character ; it is the same which pervades the 
Hellenistic literature and the Hagadic literature of later 
times. We find traces of it in the fragment of Malchus 
Kleodemas and other writers, who lived two or three 
centuries before the Common Era. Concerning them, I 
refer to the admirable work of Professor Freudenthal 
(' Hellenistiche Studien,' i., ii., Breslau, 1874, 1875). 

The source for the peculiar names that occur in these 
chapters has not been laid bare, nor do we know the 
system which the ancients followed in the invention of such 
mythical names. Here and there one can discover biblical 
names in a somewhat changed form. But until all these 
names will have been collected and the manuscripts care- 
fully collated, taking as basis our Jerahmeel, and comparing 
these names with those contained in the Sepher Hayashar 
and those scattered through the pages of the rabbinical 
literature, such an attempt will be fruitless. My trans- 
literation of these names is merely tentative, as the original 
manuscript in many cases has no vowel signs, so as to 
indicate the correct pronunciation of the names, and the 
similarity of letters in the Hebrew script may account for 
changes or differences between the Hebrew and the Latin 
version. In order to assist further investigation, I have 
added in the Appendix the corresponding pages from the 
Latin edition, and a reproduction in facsimile of those 
chapters of the Hebrew manuscript which contain the 
genealogical tables and geographical names, viz.. Chapter 
XXVL, paragraphs 1-13 ; XXVI. 27 to XXYIII. 3 ; XXXI. 
1-20. I have already drawn attention (p. xxx) to the 
similarity in various details between these chapters and 
some portions in the Book of Jubilees. 

In Chapter XXVL our compiler seems to have intercalated 
from the middle of paragraph 15 on to the end of 20 a 
tradition that occurs already once before in Chapter XXIV., 
paragraphs 6-9, and which is missing in the Latin. It is 


not at all improbable that this portion belongs to the old 
original. Some apocryphal names occur also in it, but 
are omitted in the Latin. A parallel to paragraph 20 is 
found in Eutychius, i., p. 60. In paragraph 13 we could 
read Sheth with the Latin instead of Shem. 

Chapter XXVII. — The Yashar has in chap, vii., vers. 1-22, 
a list of the sons of Noah of a similar apocryphal and 
unintelligible character as the one contained here in 
Chapter XXVII. Both must have borrowed from the same 
apocryphal source, represented more correctly by Jerahmeel, 
who agrees entirely with the Latin, unless the change in the 
Yashar is due to careless copyists. It is curious that the 
names of the children of Yoqtan (Jeptan in the Latin) 
at the end of paragraph 5, which are given correctly by 
Josephus ('Antiquities,' book i., chap, vi., par. 4) and in 
Yashar, are so fearfully mutilated in Jerahmeel as well as 
in the Latin ; for, if read carefully, they reveal themselves 
to be the very names given in Genesis, chap, x., vers. 26-28. 
The preceding lists may have misled the copyist, who did 
not recognise the true form of those names. To paragraph 9, 
</. Eutychius, i., pp. 56, 57. In paragraph 7 we find an 
old tradition that Terah took to wife Amtalai, the daughter 
of Barnabo, or Karnabo (cf. Beer, ' Leben Abrahams,' 
pp. 1, 96, 97). 

Chapter XXVIII. contains the number of the children of 
the generations of Noah. The numbering is mentioned 
also in the Book of Yashar, chap, vii., vers. 9, 14, 18 ; but 
the numbers are very much smaller ; the thousands seem 
to have dropped out. But absolutely identical numbers are 
given by Comestor at the end of Genesis, chap, xxxvii., 
whose authority is, as he states, our very Philo. 

Chapter XXIX. corresponds to ' Philo,' fol. 6(7, et seq. 
The name of the place (paragraph 13) is called ' Linguae 
Chaldpeorum Deli.' (The Hebrew has, ' Elohe ' — >n'?s.) 

Chapter XXX. — Of this chapter only paragraphs 1-4 are 
found in the Latin, which has some very curious expressions 
not represented in the Hebrew. In paragraph 3, ' Et 
tanquam stillicidium arbitrator eos, et in scuto approxi- 


mabo eos,' the first part is missing altogether in the 
Hebrew. I am at a loss to suggest the word for ' drops ' 
(' stillicidium ') in the original, which the translator has 
evidently misunderstood. For ' approximabo ' we have in 
the Hebrew D2ipi<i, which I take to be from 3")P = fight, 
battle— and I have translated accordingly, 'I will fight 
them.' The parallelism with Philo finishes with para- 
graph 4. Paragraph 5, et seq., is found again in Hebrew 
writings. The transformation of the builders of the Tower 
of Babel into monkeys and the confusion of tongues, 
paragraph 5, finds its counterpart in the Yashar, chap, ix., 
vers. 33-54 ; cf. also vers. 24-33, Jerusalemitan Targum, 
in Genesis, ad he. ; further, ' Gen. Piabba,' sect. 38, para- 
graph 15 ; and at the end of the version of the Abraham 
legends (ed. Horowitz), p. 46; whilst the whole of the 
chapter, beginning from the middle of paragraph 5, i& 
taken verbatini from Chap. xxiv. of Eliezer. 

Chapter XXXI. is a duplicate to the genealogies hitherto 
treated. In the beginning of this introduction I have 
drawn special attention to it (p. xlii et seq.), showing how old 
these geographical explanations of the tenth chapter of 
Genesis are ; which all rest upon one and the same old tradi- 
tion, found in general outline in the Book of Jubilees, and 
in a much more elaborate form in Josephus's ' Antiquities,' 
book i., chap, vi., paragraph 1, et seq. This chapter 
represents in our text, in every probability, the second 
layer of geographical tradition, superposed over the other 
represented by Philo- Jerahmeel, which has an air of greater 
antiquity. In this text, which, as shown, rests upon a 
Latin original, we do not find any of the specifically 
Semitic letters ^ and H so often met with in the older 
portion. A third layer covering these two is that one 
which is represented by Yosippon, and introduced here 
by Eleazar the Levite as the first chapter from the work of 
Yosippon the Great; this interpolation forms here para- 
graphs 6-15. The same genealogies, without the mention 
of Yosippon, as the sources are never mentioned, is to be 
found in Yashar, chap, x., ver. 7, et seq. The question. 


"whether this chapter has been added later on from the 
Yashar to Yosippon, or whether the compiler of the Yashar 
borrowed it from the Yosippon, can be decided only after a 
careful investigation and an exhaustive study of the history 
and origin of each of these books. I am inclined to give to 
Yosippon the priority, and to consider the Yashar as being 
a later compilation. As one of the sources of information 
for such genealogical terms, I refer here especially to the 
letter of the King of the Kozars to Hasdai Ibn Shaprut 
in Spain in the tenth century. The information which 
he gives about the origin of his own people agrees in 
many details almost absolutely with the details contained 
here as to the descendants of Togarma. In paragraph 15, 
which is so very corrupt in the Yosippon, I should like to 
interpret the names in the following manner : Sorbin 
would be Servians ; Lousisii would be Lausatians ; Liech'an 
would be Poles ; Chrabat would be Croatians ; Bosniin 
w^ould be Bosnians. Then, for Asidinia, in paragraph 14, 
I would read ' Ascania.' The last name almost that occurs 
in the whole list, that of Qualiron, may assist us in fixing 
the origin of the most famous Hebrew liturgical poet, Qalir. 
The identification of his place of birth, after which he got 
the name, has hitherto baffled every investigation. It 
would thus turn out to be ' Lesha ' in Palestine— the 
* Callirhoe ' of later times. The end of the chapter (para- 
graph 20) agrees with chap. xxiv. of Eliezer. As we see, 
Jerahmeel utilizes the Book of Eliezer Hyrqanos as the frame 
into which he fixes all the other texts gathered from various 
quarters. This paragraph agrees also with the beginning 
of No. 11a of my ' Exempla of the Kabbis ' (p. 2). 

Chapter XXXII. begins with the history of the third son 
of Noah, lonithem or lonithes. We find this legend in 
Comestor, ' Genes.,' chap, xxxvii., wiio refers to Pseudo- 
Methodius as his source. Fabricius knows the Greek form 
*Monethon,' from which undoubtedly is derived the Slavonic 
version ' Muntu ' (Pal?ea, ed. Popoff, Moscow, 1881 ; ap- 
pendix, p. 15, from a manuscript of the fourteenth century). 
Ibn Jahya, in ' Shalsheleth,' fol. 9'2h, has ' loniko '; and the 


same short note reappears in Zakuto's ' Juhasin,' ed. 
Philipowski, p. 232 ; cj, also I. Perles, Graetz, Jubelschrift, 
Breslau, 1887, pp. 22, 23. The same legend also occurs 
in the Arabic work of Jakubi (Gruenbaum, p. 94). But 
the diacritical points are wrongly placed on the name, 
which reads now Bentek (v3^0j but which, if differently 
placed, would read lonites or lonitem (^r^-v. or t^i). 

Paragraphs 2-5 we find in Comestor, chapters xxxix., xl. ; 
paragraph 4, in Isidor, ' Chronicon,'p. 378/i, vide note to it. 
In Eutychius (i., pp. 58, 59) occurs a somewhat similar 
legend about the origin of the God Bel (here paragraph 5). 
The historical note in paragraphs 6, 7 occurs also in 
Comestor, ' Genesis,' chap. Ixiii., but in a somewhat different 
form. Both go back undoubtedly to an older source, 
which I have not yet been able to identify. Eusebius, in 
his Canon (third book of his ' Chronicles '), has similar but 
not identical information, which is to be found also in 
Syncellus. But none of these are the direct source for 
Comestor or Jerahmeel. The one which approaches them 
nearest is only the ' Chronicon ' of Isidor of Spain. 

Chapters XXXIII. -XXXV.— In the history of the world, 
we have reached now the period of Abraham. The follow- 
ing chapters contain Abraham legends, for which we find 
already indications in Josephus and in other Hellenistic 
writers. We have at least two distinct legends already in 
that old collection of Kabbinical ' Exempla ' published by 
me (Nos. II«, lib, p. 2, et seq.), and in a similar manner we 
have here in Chapter XXXIII. one version, the other in 
Chapter XXXIY. Of the first version, I have found parallels 
only to paragraph 1, viz., my Exampla, No. lla, p. 3, lines 
11-24; cf. 'Gen. Piabba,' sec. 38, paragraph 19; Jalqut, 
i., paragraph 62. For the Arabic parallels ride Gruenbaum, 
loc. cit.i p. 129 et seq. The whole literature concerning 
the legends clustering round Abraham has been collected 
by Beer in his ' Leben Abrahams ' (Leipzig, 1859), but 
gathering it from various sources, almost indiscriminately, 
he has not separated the material sufficiently, and has 
combined old and new into one consecutive narrative. In 


spite of the riches of his materials, there is no parallel to 
the details contained in paragraphs 2, 3, 4, exactly in the 
form as we have them here. To paragraph 5 we find, 
curiously enough, a parallel in the ' Zohar ' (vol. i., fol. 77 h ; 
vide Beer, p. 16, note 125). 

Chapter XXXIV. is the most complete and perfect, as 
well as the oldest and best known Abraham legend. It is 
identical with the version in the Midrash to the Ten Com- 
mandments (Precept 2) ; cf. also my Exempla, lla and b. 
Of this version of the Midrash ' Ten Com.,' Bahya has 
incorporated an abstract in his commentary to the Bible 
(ed. Venice, folio 25c), which has been reprinted by Jelli- 
nek, ' B. H.,' ii., pp. 118-119. It is absolutely identical also 
with codex Oxford, No. 1,466 (Ctlg. Neubauer), folio SOQh- 
S05h, a copy of which is in my codex, No. 185, pp. 8-11. 
The same legend is also found in the Book of Yashar, from 
chap, xi., ver. 15, to the end of chap xii. It is in the main 
identical, but very much more expanded, and also differing 
in a few details, especially concerning the death of Haran, 
which in our text (Chapter XXXV., paragraph 1) is men- 
tioned to have occurred in a totally different manner. The 
only parallel to the version in Jerahmeel I have been able 
to find is in Comestor, ' Genesis,' chap. xli. Jerahmeel refers 
in paragraph 2 to Nicolaos of Damascus. The very same 
passage is to be found in Josephus, ' Antiquities,' book i., 
chap, vii., sec. 2, in the name of the same authority ; 
and we meet the same quotation also, in the name of 
Nicolaos of Damascus, in Comestor, ' Genesis,' chap, xliii. 
paragraph 3. Abraham in the fiery furnace forms the end 
of the Abraham legend in the version contained in the 
Midrash to the Ten Commandments. 

More elaborate than this is the version which appeared 
for the first time in Constantinople, 1519, reprinted by 
Jellinek, ' B. H.,' i., pp. 25-35 ; vide ibid., pp. xv-xvi, and 
a similar text has been published by Horowitz, ' Eqed 
Agadoth,' i., pp. 43-46, who gives the literature, ibid., p. 40. 
In this form the legend has been adapted to homiletic 
purposes. I consider all the texts which have been thus 


utilized as of secondary value, representing no longer the 
simple old original tale, but one recast, altered, and either 
enlarged or shortened — at any rate, subjected to a re- 
modelling process. Almost every one of these old biblical 
legends has undergone such a change. The essential 
difference between these two forms has not been suffi- 
ciently appreciated by those who have studied this branch 
of Hebrew literature ; conclusions to which they have 
arrived are vitiated in consequence thereof. Guided by the 
modernized form of the legends in homilies, they have been 
declared to be of a similar modern origin. I am now the 
first to point out the difference between the two, and to insist 
that only the primitive simple legend is to guide us in our 
conclusions. Our chronicle has preserved most of these in 
their primitive form. 

Arabic parallels to the Abraham legend, ride Gruenbaum, 
pp. 91-93 ; that of d'llerbelot more closely resembles our 
version (Fabricius, i., p. 3^5 et seq.). Abraham burning the 
idols, vide Book of Jubilees, chap. xii. ; Eonsch (Jubil^een, 
pp. 224, 267, 308, etc.) ; also in the Slavonic ' Palsea ' (loe. 
cit., p. 21 et seq.). Paragraph 4 treats of Abraham's know- 
ledge of magic. This belongs to those old Greek legends 
circulating in Egypt, and connected with the name of 
Artapanos. Josephus knows it (' Antiq.,' i., chap, viii., 
section 2). The whole literature has been collected by 
Fabricius (i., pp. 336 et seq,, 345 et seq., and 359 et seq.) 
and Beer (p. 207, No. 978) ; ride also Migne, ' Diet, des 
Apocryphes,' ii., col. 31 et seq. In all other versions Abraham 
is the teacher of astrology, whilst in our Hebrew text he is 
the one who acquired it in Egypt. A close parallel we find 
to this paragraph in Comestor, * Genesis,' chap, xlvii., who 
also brings Abraham in connection with Zoroaster. The 
reference to Eabbi Eleazar of Modiin (paragraph 4) is 
found in the Talmudic treatise, ' Baba Bathra,' fol. 16h. In 
paragraph 5 Jerahmeel refers to Yosippon concerning the 
oak under which Abraham used to sit, which lasted until 
the reign of Theodosius in Eome. The same is found also 
in Comestor, chap, xlv., and Add. IL, where reference is 


made to Jerome. Again reference is made to Yosippon in 
paragraph 6 ; this seems to refer to Josephus (' Wars,' 
book iv., chap, viii., sec. 4), as in the Hebrew text of the 
Yosippon it is not to be found ; also mentioned in Comestor, 
* Genesis,' chap. Hii., and Add. I. 

The rest of the chapter is devoted to the synchronistic 
history of the Kings in Argos and in Egypt. We find the 
same information in P. Orosins, ed. Zangemeister, i., 4, 7, 
in the same order first in Eusebius, Canon, ed. Migne, 
col. 357; then Isidorus, 'Chronic.,' 378^/ and note 3; Syn- 
cellus, 126a. Comestor (chaps. Ixvii., Ixx., Ixxvi.) evidently 
has drawn from the same somxes, but Comestor separated 
these items, and placed them differently, whilst Jerahmeel 
kept probably to the old original without separating them. 
Jerahmeel has also a peculiar description of the origin of 
the Apis — the magic calf — made by the King Apis, who was 
afterwards called ' Sarapis,' which description he repeats in 
Chapter XLIL, paragraph 2. It is found also in Comestor's 
narrative, but much later, in ' Exodus,' chap, iv., absolutely 
identical with Jerahmeel, and he refers to Plinius as his 
source. The same legend of Apis — Sarapis, son of Jupiter, 
etc. — is mentioned already by Clemens of Alexandria in his 
' Stromata,' i.; Eusebius, loc. cit. (Cols. 360, 362) ; Isidorus, 
378//, 379a; vide especially note 5, where the whole 
literature is given. I have drawn attention to the differ- 
ence between Jerahmeel and Comestor in the arrange- 
ment of these synchronistic notes, in order to avoid the 
impression which one might have, that Jerahmeel had 
borrowed directly from Comestor. The latter indicates 
our Philo as one of the sources from which he has drawn 
his materials, and it is more and more clearly established 
by this minute comparison. 

Chapters XXXVI. and XXXVII. contain an extremely 
ancient bibhcal legend, of which, happily, not merely 
fragments, but almost the whole is found in some of 
those well-known old Apocryphal books which I have had 
occasion to mention hitherto more than once. These two 
chapters form a separate legend, known under the title of 



* Midrash Vayisau,' a continuation of the narrative in 
Gen. XXXV. 5, beginning with this word, -li^s:!, to which the 
legend is added. It is also known as the 'Book of the 
Wars of the Children of Jacob.' Chapter XXXVI. contains 
a detailed description of the war between the children of 
Jacob after the incident of Shechem with the allied kings 
of Palestine, and upon it follows (Chapter XXXVII.) the 
fight between them and Esau's army. Down to the 
minutest details, which extend also to the identity in the 
names of these kings, we find this legend in the Apocryphal 
Testament of Judah, the son of Jacob, chaps, iii.-vii. ; 
and a short abstract of it with the same names occurs in 
the Book of Jubilees, chap, xxxiv., vers. 1-9. The legend, 
limited only to the description of the wars between the 
children of Jacob and the combined forces of the Kings of 
Palestine, occurs in a very expanded form and is very 
elaborately worked out in Yashar (chaps. xxxvii.-xL). A 
version identical with ours has been preserved in the 
* Yalqut ' (i., fol. 40J and 416, reprinted hence by Jellinek, 
' B. H.,' vol. iii., pp. 1-5). I have found, moreover, a 
manuscript agreeing absolutely with it in the British 
Museum (Add. 27,089, fol. 165-1695), which I have 
collated with my text, and the few additions (in brackets) 
are taken from this text {ride also Zunz, G. V.,^ p. 153, and 
Kab Pealim, pp. 54, 55). 

Concerning the fight between Esau and Jacob, the Book 
of Yashar differs considerably from our version. Accord- 
ing to it, this fight takes place on the occasion of 
Jacob's burial, whilst in our version it follows upon the 
first battle, and Esau is killed whilst fighting before 
Shechem. Our version is undoubtedly the original form 
of the legend, as we find it already in the same connection 
in the Testament of Judah (chap, ix.), following upon the 
other fight, like in our text and in the ' Yalqut ' (also 
*B. H.,' loc. cit., pp. 3-5). K. H. Charles, in his edition 
of the Ethiopic version of the Book of Jubilees (Oxford, 
1895), has reprinted (pp. 180-182) this chapter, and has in 
the margins indicated the parallels to it in the Book of 


Jubilees, showing how it often agrees to the letter with the 
text of the Book of Jubilees. By means of our text we are 
able to explain the name of the place where Esau was 
buried. Given in the Greek text of the Testament of Judah 
in a corrupted form as Iramna, it stands for Irodia, 
corresponding in one of the Hebrew texts with Erodin, 
pnns, Herodion, in another MS., Merodin, pinro, this last 
due to a wrong reading of the first letter, D for x. If this 
place where Esau was said to have been buried is Herodion, 
as I believe it to be, we have under this legendary form a 
piece of contemporary history, and this legend offers us a 
key to the understanding of the origin and composition of 
these legendary tales. Herodion is the name of the place 
which Herod the Great built, and in which he was after- 
wards buried. Herod was, as is well known, an Edomite 
by origin, a descendant of Esau. Those fights, placed far 
back into antiquity, are now a reflex of the wars of the 
Jews against Herod, described by Josephus (' Antiquities,' 
book xiv., chap, xvi., and book xv., chap, xiv.), clothed 
under that form. The other legends as to the fight between 
Esau and the children of Jacob at the latter 's burial we 
find alluded to in the Acts of the Apostles (chap, vii., ver. 16) 
and in Josephus (' Antiquities,' book ii., chap, viii., sec. 2). 
If this conjecture of mine be right, that we have under the 
form of legend contemporary history — and, as a matter of 
fact, apocalyptic visions also reflect contemporary history ; 
it is delineated clearly in the similitudes of the Book of 
Enoch, in the fourth Book of Ezra, in the Assumption of 
Moses, and in other apocalyptic writings of that period — it 
will help us to determine the accurate date of the compo- 
sition of such legends by their historical background. 
Purporting to give us history of the past, they in fact 
describe contemporary events. If now this legend refers 
to the period of Herod the Great, this legend would there- 
fore belong latest to the beginning of the first century of the 
Common Era. That it is so old is proved by the undoubted 
fact of its inclusion in the Testaments of the Twelve 
Patriarchs and in the Book of Jubilees, both of the same 



period, thus mutually corroborating the high antiquity 
assigned to each of them. Being utilized by the authors 
of the last two books, the legend of the children of Jacob 
is prior to them in composition. I now go one step 
further, and affirm that also our Hebrew text is the old 
original text, preserved w4th much fidelity and accuracy, 
and on the whole retaining the original form very little 

Chapter XXXVIII. contains the Testament of Naphtali. 
In publishing the Hebrew text (Proceedings of the Society 
of Biblical Archaeology), I have dealt at length with the 
relation that exists between this text and the Greek version 
of the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, and I have 
endeavoured to show not only that the original language 
in which that book had been written was Hebrew, and that 
the Greek was merely a translation made at a somewhat 
later period, but also that the original form had been better 
preserved in the Hebrew version. This view is now fully 
corroborated by C. Eesch, who has reprinted my text 
('Theolog. Studien u. Kritiken,' 1899, pp. 206-33) and has 
retranslated it into Greek. Schiirer's objections (' Gesch. 
d. Jued. Yolkes,' III.,^ p. 259) rest upon an insufficient 
knowledge of Jerahmeel's Chronicle and of his literary 
activity. The contents of it bear out my contention fully 
that all the texts contained therein without exception are 
orifiinals, and not translations. Only the synchronistic notes 
and the second genealogical table, dealing as they are with 
non-Jewish history, are derived from a non-Jewish source, 
and are therefore no real exceptions ; they are mere notes, 
not long legend, and not having biblical personages as their 
heroes. Jerahmeel, or whoever goes under that name, has 
simply collected into one volume separate Hebrew Midra- 
shim or Aggadoth, the majority of which are either known 
also from other collections, or are referred to and used in 
homilies. Immediate sources or direct parallels in an}^ other 
language are not known to exist. Even of the Philo portions, 
though we have a perfect Latin counterpart, the Hebrew 
text is the ancient original; the style of the diction and the 


form of the language preclude the gratuitous assumption 
of their being translations. Stronger arguments than used 
hitherto will have to be adduced to shake the belief in the 
original character of the Hebrew versions of these legends. 
The historical background of this * Testament ' is, however, 
not so clear as in the legend of the warlike exploits of 
Judah and his brethren. One point, however, is to be 
remarked. The strong antagonism against Joseph, who 
separates himself from the rest of his brethren, might be 
a direct allusion to the Samaritans, with whom the tribes 
of Judah and Levi, so prominently singled out in this 
Testament of Naphtali, lived in strong feud. Against them 
Hyrqanos had led a successful war, destroying the temple 
on Gerizim and the town of Samaria ; but the same Herodes 
rebuilt them, and favoured thus the very tribe so strongly 
denounced in this Testament by Naphtali and Jacob. 

Chapter XXXIX. — The history of Joseph seems also to 
be an echo from the Testament of Joseph, at least as far as 
paragraph 1 is concerned. Paragraph 2, about the beauty 
of Joseph, occurs also in the Aramaic Targum to the seventh 
of the Ten Commandments. The Book of Yashar has a 
much more elaborate romance of Joseph from chap. xl. 
onwards. In chap. xliv. of Yashar we find the old legend of 
Joseph and Zelikah (Arabic, Suleikah), which has been con- 
sidered to be of Arabic origin. The fact that almost every- 
thing mentioned therein, with the exception of the name, 
is found already in the Testament of Joseph (one of the 
'Twelve Patriarchs') and a small portion of it preserved here 
in our chronicle prove that the narrative in Yashar may 
also be independent of any Arabic sources. No Arabic 
etymology has as yet been found for Suleikah, which, 
moreover, would be the only one borrowed from strange 
sources, whilst we find in Yashar, Philo-Jerahmeel, Kleo- 
demus, and others many extraordinary names that are not 
vouched for by the biblical narrative. An old romance of 
Joseph's life in Egypt of a pre- Arabic period exists in a 
full form, at least in Greek, under the title of ' Joseph and 
Asenath,' published by P. Batiftbl (Studia Patristica, Paris, 


1889). Fragments and even the most important incidents 
are found in the old Hebrew legendary works, in the 
Midrash and Hagadah. 

It is here again a case of mutual borrowing, and the 
priorit}^ is by no means yet decisively proved, even for the 
incident describing Joseph's beauty and the women cutting 
their hands whilst looking at him, as it occurs in our 
text, paragraph 2, and in the Book of Yashar, chap, xliv., 
ver. 27 et seq. Gruenbaum has studied exhaustively all 
the legends connected with Joseph in the Jewish and Arabic 
literature in ' Zeitschrift d. Deutsch Morgenland. Gesell- 
schaft,' Ixiii., p. 1 et seq. 

Chapter XL. — With this chapter begin the voluminous 
abstracts taken verbatim from Yosippon, and intercalated 
here by Eleazar the Levite. Concerning the literature about 
Yosippon, ride Zunz, G. V.,'^ p. 154 et seq. Chapter XL. 
corresponds in Breithaupt's edition to Book L, chap, i., 
p. 9, to end of chap, iv., p. 22. As I am preparing a 
critical edition of the Yosippon based upon this manuscript 
of Jerahmeel and upon the collations I have made with 
other editions and manuscripts, I limit myself here, as 
in the future, wherever Yosippon has been copied directly 
by our compiler, to refer to the corresponding chapters in 
that edition. Breithaupt has already referred in his foot- 
notes to the Conte-Miinster edition, to Josephus, Titus 
Livius, and other authorities which contribute to elucidate 
the true meaning of the text of Yosippon published by him, 
and indirectly of our text translated here. 

The very same chapters from Y^osippon, forming here 
Chapter XL., in the same full form are reproduced in 
Yashar from chap, Ix. to chap. Ixvi., with slight intercala- 
tions from other sources that are not named ; Yosippon 
is also not mentioned. Bahya (commentary to Genesis 
portion Vayehi) knows the legend of Sefo migrating to 
Italy and establishing himself there, which, is contained 
in this portion {cf. Zunz, G. V.^, p. 161, note a). We 
find in this chapter also a reference to the Midrash to 
Psalms, under the name of Shoher Tob. 


Chapter XLI. — In Chapter XLI. we find, as it were, 
a second edition of the history of the building of Eome, 
mentioned once in the preceding chapter. It agrees partly 
with the treatise of Abraham ben David under the heading 
' Short Memorabilia of Eome.' 

Chapters XLII.-XL VIII.— From Chapter XLII. on to 
Chapter XLVIII. inclusive we have two or three different 
versions of the Chronicle of Moses. Of these various 
versions, the longest and most coherent, which also has 
a separate title beginning from Chapter XLIII. on, is the 
oldest. The first version in Chapter XLII. belongs prob- 
ably to the Latin Chronicle of Philo-Jerahmeel, with the 
usual additions and intercalations. The first paragraphs 
have similar synchronistic elements as all the other additions 
of Jerahmeel. The description of the bull Apis as given 
here in paragraph 2 is identical with that given above 
(Chapter XXXV., paragraph 8). The king is called 
throughout ' Amenophis ' in the Hebrew text. To para- 
graphs 2 and 3 cf. Comestor, Exodus, chap, ii., giving the 
same reference to Psalm Ixxx. in describing the forms of 
slavery to which the Children of Israel were subjected, as 
we find them in paragraph 3. 

The fact that these elements are to be found in 
Comestor preceding the abstract from Philo seems to 
indicate again that in the Latin text of Philo used by 
Comestor this portion may have been in it, just as we find 
it in the Hebrew text. Paragraph 5 onwards is identical 
with Philo (fol. S)h to 11a). In the Latin text we have 
the peculiar form Aura for Amram, and instead of Jochebed, 
which, according to tradition, was the name of Moses' 
mother (correctly given so in paragraph 9), we find in the 
Latin Jacob ! 

Chapter XLIII. — Of far greater antiquity is a subsequent 
legend known in the Hebrew literature as the Chronicle 
of Moses {vide Zunz, G. V.^, p. 153). It is found in a 
very elaborate form in the Yashar (from chap. Ixvii. to 
chap. Ixxxii.) ; but one can see that the Yashar already 
takes liberties with the text. Further, in the Yalqut 


(i., fol. 52 et seq.). Jellinek, in reprinting (' B. H.,' 
ii.,' pp. 1-11 ; vide pp. vii-xi) the editio princeps, Con- 
stantinople, 1516, with which our text completely agrees, 
believes the latter as well as the text in the Yalqut to 
be an abstract from the Book of Yashar, and refers, as 
a significant indication of this dependence on the Book 
of Yashar, to the reference which is made in one place 
to ' the Book of Yashar.' But Jellinek (p. viii, note 5) 
mistook the true meaning of this word. Its occurrence 
here, by the way, proves the extreme antiquity of the text ; 
for in the very old Massoretic treatise published by Baer 
and Strack under the title of 'Diqduqei Hateamim ' (Leipzig, 
1879, p. 57, ride note h, where reference is made to the 
Talmud and Midrash), the Book of Genesis especially, and 
then the Pentateuch as a whole, are called by this very 
name, either 'Yashar' or ' Sepher Yesharim,' the 'Book of 
the Pious Ones,' the Patriarchs. If this reference would 
mean that the author of the Yalqut has copied the text from 
our Book of Yashar, this reference would certainly be 
missing in the supposed original. In referring now to the 
editio princeps of the Yashar, we find the very same 
passage verbatim identical with the quotation in the 
Yalqut, but with the one significant difference that in- 
stead of ' Sepher ha- Yashar,' we read there, and properly 
so, ' Sepher ha-Torah ' ; as the author, who calls his com- 
pilation 'Yashar,' could not refer to himself, and he, there- 
fore, in copying the old text and embodying it into his 
compilation, was bound to change the word ' Yashar,' as it 
stood in the old original, into ' Sepher Torah.' But that 
old word was retained in the editio princeps, in the text 
from which the Yalqut made his abstract, and in our text. 

Another evident proof that in the old original preserved 
by Jerahmeel and by the Yalqut the name of ' Yashar ' 
meant ' the Bible ' is furnished by the very last sentence in 
this Chronicle of Moses (chap, xlviii., paragraph 18), [where 
we read, 'is written in the S. ha-yashar,' with the ex- 
planatory addition, ' which is the law of God.' I have 
translated it accordingly in chap, xlv., paragraph 8, 'the 


Bible.' The same legends are also met with in the Midrash 
which goes under the title ' Midrash Vayosha,' which deals 
with the Exodus proper, and is a kind of homiletic commen- 
tary to the Song of Moses. A complete recension has been 
printed by Moses Ashkenazi in ' Dibre Hakhamim ' (Metz, 
1849, pp. 1-16), reprinted Jellinek, ' B. H.,' vol. i., p. 35 
^'t seq. 

This Moses legend can now be proved, even in its Hebrew 
form, to go back to one of those ancient Hellenistic writings 
which existed undoubtedly in the second century before the 
Common Era. Artapanos, whoever he may have been, is 
the author of what we may call a Gr?eco- Jewish romance 
with Moses as central figure. Ezekiel, the Greek Jewish 
poet in Egypt, has already derived information from it, 
and utilized in his poem details borrowed from Artapanos' 
novel. Josephus has reproduced the main part. Of this 
Greek composition Eusebius has preserved in the name 
of Alexander Polyhistor a very large portion, and through 
his intermediary it has become the common property of 
all the ancient and mediaeval Chronographs. Comestor 
makes long quotations (Exodus, chaps, v.-vii.). He 
mentions the prophetic dream of Pharaoh. He knows 
that Moses flees from Egypt, is made King in Ethiopia, 
marries the Ethiopian Queen, and accounts for the forty 
years of his absence from Egypt, until he reappears in 
Midian, in the house of Jethro. Freudenthal, in his work 
already mentioned, has subjected this work of Artapanos 
to a searching investigation, and he has proved, among 
others, not only the extreme antiquity of the novel of 
Artapanos, but also — and this is a point on which I lay the 
greatest stress — that the Hebrew version stands in immediate 
close connection with this old text, having many more 
details than any of the Greek fragments that have come 
down to us (' Hellenistische Studien,' pp. 169-174). 

But such a version could only have been made at a time 
when the Hebrew writer had access to the more complete 
text of Alexander Polyhistor, or of Artapanos himself, that 
is, at a time near that in which Josephus flourished ; as 


from that time on these books have disappeared, and ^Ye 
cannot trace all these details to any other source or any 
later compilation. The apparent anachronism in Chapter 
XLVL, paragraphs 1-6, is easily explained when compared 
with the version in the Yalqut, where the sequence of events 
is reversed, the legend commencing with this very chapter, 
and XLA'I., paragraph 6, following upon Chapter XLV. 
In our text the incidents connected with Balaam are added 
later, as an explanation to the reference that Balaam was 
one of the wizards that had counselled Pharaoh to wipe 
out the name of Jacob from off the face of the earth. It is 
merely a question of the order in which the chapters follow 
upon one another. The antiquity of this version is also 
shown in a few of the names mentioned. Mobras (Yashar, 
chap. xlvi. 8, Menkeros) is the name of the son of the 
Queen of Kush. If we change 'Mobras' into ' Monbras,' 
then we have the very name ' Menophras ' of Artapanos ; 
so is also ' Kikanos ' identical with ' Kikinos ' of older 
versions. Janis and Jambres, the two wizard sons of 
Balaam (XLYII. 6), are well-known figures of ancient tradi- 
tion, and are also, as Freudenthal proves, Egyptian names 
that have been adapted to Greek forms. The references to 
classical literature are given by Freudenthal, loc. cit., who 
also refers to Fabricius (pp. 813-825) ; for further informa- 
tion, ride now also Schurer, loc. cit., IP., p. 689. Of all 
the versions of this Chronicle of Moses, the one preserved in 
our manuscript seems to be the most complete. It begins 
with the birth of Moses, and contains in full all the subse- 
quent events that happened to him, until the time when 
he leads the people out of Egypt. In it are embodied 
also some of the legends concerning the death of 
Balaam, the death of Aaron, treated here very briefly, 
similarly the death of Moses ; and it finishes with a refer- 
ence to Joshua leading the people across the Jordan. This 
Chronicle of Moses has evidently supplanted the portion 
dealing with Moses in Philo-Jerahmeel, with the speeches 
therein, and the last oration of Moses, in which those dates 
occur to which I have referred above (Philo, fol. 13-20). 


Here we have instead (Chap. XLYL, paragraphs 2, 3), the 
speech of Eeuel. Further parallels to some of the legends 
contained in this apocryphal chronicle, vide Gaster, ' Litera- 
tura Populara Romana,' Bucuresci, 1883, p. 318 ct seq. ; 
Gaster (Ilchester Lectures), ' Greco-Slavonic Literature,' 
London, 1887, p. 150 et seq. 

Concerning the Eod of Moses (Chap. XL VI., para- 
graph 11, et seq.), ride Chapters of E. Eliezer, chap. xl. 
and notes ; Arabic Parallels, vide Gruenbaum, p. 161. 
The Syriac version in ' Book of the Bee,' chap. xxx. ; Is. 
Abraham, ' The Eod of Moses,' London, etc. Chapter XLVL, 
paragraph 13, occurs already in the Mekhilta to Exodus, 
chap, xviii. 3. The legend that Pharaoh alone was saved 
from drowning and became King of Nineveh (XL VIII. 12) 
is found also in the Koran, Sure x., vers. 90-92, but before 
it in E. Eliezer, chap, xliii. 

Chapter XLIX. — The death of Aaron has been added 
here, preceding as it does also in the Bible that of Moses. 
It appeared in an expanded form, turned into a Homily, 
Constantinople, 1516, reprinted by Jellinek, 'B. Ham.,' ii., 
pp. 91-95. The text in our version is much shorter, dif- 
fering from that printed hitherto in so far as it neither 
contains any reference to the rock which was smitten by 
Aaron, nor the concluding portion of the version published 
hitherto, referring to Miriam, which is evidently a later 
addition. Our text is a much more harmonious and com- 
plete, though short, description of the last days of Aaron, 
finishing exactly with the same quotation with which it 
begins. We have thus in our text evidently the oldest 
and most perfect version, which has been later on elabo- 
rated and altered, being used as a Homily, as it is also 
called in the old edition, viz., ' Derash Lepetirat Aharon.' 
Parallels to parts of it are found scattered throughout the 
Midrashic literature. Sharastani mentions an Arabic legend 
identical with that here in paragraph 6. Cf. also Treatise 
Erubin, fol. 54&. For paragraphs 6 and 7, vide Numbers 
Eabba, section 19, paragraph 11, and Yalqut, i., fol. 238(7, 
paragraph 763, which quotation is taken from the lost 


Midrash * Espha.' Yalqut, fol. 240a, paragraph 755, has 
a somewhat different version from the Jelamdenu running 
parallel with our text, from paragraph 3 on to the end. 

Chapter L. — The tale of the Death of Moses is also 
represented by two versions, Chapters L. and LI. The 
first concludes with a reference to the Midrash Deute- 
ronomy Eabba, as if taken from there. The date of the 
composition of this work falls between the tenth and eleventh 
century ; it may be older ; but this reference has evidently 
been inserted by Eleazar the Levite. The text is absolutely 
identical with the version contained in Deuteronomy Eabba, 
chap, xi., paragraph 6. But an ' Assumptio Mosis ' is men- 
tioned already in the first centuries of the Common Era 
(ride Schiirer IV, pp. 630 and 635-636, the whole litera- 
ture ; vide also E. H. Charles, ' The Assumption of Moses,' 
London, 1897), and in the letter of Judah the Apostle 
allusion is made to the dispute between Samael the wicked, 
or Satan, and the Archangel, concerning the death of Moses. 
We are therefore justified in considering the Hebrew text as 
being of ancient origin, and afterwards added to that col- 
lection known as Deuteronomy Eabba, borrowed from an 
independent and much older source. It forms now the 
concluding chapter of Deuteronomy Eabba (Hebrew litera- 
ture, cf. Zunz, G. V.-, p. 154). It may be noted that those 
very passages from which Zunz wished to deduct the 
recent origin of the composition are missing in our text. 
They are evidently due to a later interpolation. 

The substance of this very legend of the last hours of 
Moses has been much elaborated and expanded in the text 
which appeared in Constantinople for the first time in 1516, 
and since reprinted by Jellinek in ' B. Ham.,' i., p. 115 
et seq. I call this version the ' Homily,' although it has 
not the title ' Derash,' as that of Aaron, for the Death of 
Moses has been worked up in it in the same manner as 
other biblical legends, such as the Abraham legend, the 
' Death of Aaron ' (above, pp. Ixxix ,xci), have been worked 
up in homilies. 

The Christian homiletic literature furnishes us with very 


numerous examples of a similar process ; the life of a saint 
is here embodied wholly into a sermon or into a homily 
delivered on the day of the saint. I refer to Ephraim 
Syrus, Chrysostomos, St. Gregorius^ and innumerable 
others. The same thing happened there as in the Hebrew 
literature. The Church followed the example of the Syna- 
gogue also in this homiletic literature. The Homily of 
the Death of Moses was delivered probably on the last day 
of Tabernacles, when the last chapter of the Bible was 
read, in which the Blessing and the Death of Moses is 
described. We find thus in this Homily (' B. Ham.,' vol. i., 
p. 120), a parallel to Chapter L., paragraph 2 of our text. 
Paragraph 10 to the end of the legend are faithfully and 
literally reproduced in the Homily (p. 127 et seq,). 

Chapter LI. — The second version contained in Chapter LI. 
has not fared so well. It is not found in its entirety any- 
where else ; only parallels to portions of it, and probably 
quotations from it, are found. The author of the ' Homily ' 
has used some of it as material for the completion of his 
text, and the same has been done by the compilers of 
Deuteronomy Eabba, Tanhuma, etc. Paragraphs 1-3 and 
6 have been utilized for the first part of the 'Homily' 
(p. 115 et scq., p. 122) ; paragraphs 1-4 occur also in 
Deuteronomy Eabba, chap, xi., from the middle of para- 
graph 5 on, and Exodus Eabba, chap, xx., paragraph 17 ; 
paragraphs 5 and 6 are found in Deuteronomy Eabba, 
chap. ix. ; paragraphs 4-5 being a kind of duplicate from 
Chapter L., paragraph 1, whilst our paragraphs 7, 8 of 
Chapter LI. correspond to Deuteronomy Eabba, chap, xi., 
paragraph 4. Paragraph 6 is found : Sifrei, i., section 135, 
and Mid. Tanhuma, Numbers, portion Vaethanan ; and 
paragraph 7 is like Tanhuma Vezoth Haberakha, section 3. 
As one can see, portions of this legend recur in various 
ancient writings. Arabic parallels to paragraphs 1, 2 in 
Tabari and others, ride Gruenbaum, p. 150 et seq. 

In Chapter LII. we have a complete ' Apocalypse of 
Moses,' his assumption to heaven in order to obtain the 
law, and a minute description of all that he sees in the 


heavenly abodes. I have reproduced this text in my 
'Visions ' as No. II., p. 588 et seq., where I have also men- 
tioned the comparative literature. Jellinek considers it to 
be a portion of the Hekhaloth, viz., a mystical description 
of the heavenly halls ; but I consider it to be ' A Eevela- 
tion of Moses,' independent of the latter, and running 
on parallel lines to it. Of this Kevelation we have two 
versions : a very elaborate one, and a shorter one. Our 
text represents the shorter one. The more elaborate has 
also been published by me {ibid., No. I., p. 172 et seq. A 
further Hebrew text of this version has since been published 
by Wertheimer in his ' Bate Midrashoth,' Jerusalem, 1897, 
vol. iv., pp. 22-30). 

Our text is again the more complete and the more perfect 
of all hitherto known. They agree with this only as far 
as paragraph 9. The following paragraphs (10-13) are 
entirely new, and merely fragments or quotations from 
them are found in the Hebrew literature. Paragraph 11, 
c/. Exod. Eabba, chap, xxix., vide Gruenbaum, loc. cit., 
p. 169. For paragraph 12 I must refer to my Codex 
(No. 83, fol. 10a), which contains a Commentary to the 
Bible, probably of the twelfth century. This Apocalypse 
has also been utilized in a homily for the day of the 
Giving of the Law, as it reads like an introduction to it ; 
and we are, therefore, not surprised to find a somewhat 
similar description of the Heavenly Halls as an introduction 
to the ' Midrash of the Ten Commandments,' and in it a 
direct parallel to paragraphs 12 and 13. 

In Chapter LIII. we have recovered one of those very old 
legendary compilations of which only portions were known, 
and these under different names. The description of the 
Tabernacle erected in the wilderness had been the subject 
of an old legendary treatise known under the name 
of 'Barayta di Malekhet Hamishkan,' the text of which 
has been printed by Jellinek, and has since been reprinted 
by H. Flesch from the MS. copy of the Talmud in Munich. 
This text appears to be incomplete, as it contains merely a 
detailed description of the vessels of the Temple, whilst 


everything else concerning the camp and the order in which 
the tribes were settled in the camp seems to have dropped 
out completely. 

The last two chapters of that Barayta are then a 
fragment of, what in the light of our text must have been, 
a full description of the incidents connected with the 
camping in the desert, and the manner in which the tribes 
started on their journeys. Traces of this and of other 
portions are found elsewhere too, as will be seen anon, but 
unconnected one with the other. Jellinek and Flesch, not 
being aware of the intimate relation that exists between the 
portion dealing with the travelling in the wilderness with 
that dealing with the camping, have not been able to 
treat them as parts of one and the same legend. Our 
text is now undoubtedly the complete form of the missing old 
legend, being, as all the other texts in the Jerahmeel com- 
pilation, in a perfect state of preservation. I recognise in 
this chapter the ' Barayta ' which had been utilized by the 
author of the ' Jerusalemitan Targum,' by Maimonides, 
Barzeloni, and all those authorities who are mentioned 
by Epstein in his book ' Mi-Kadmonioth,' or ' Beitriige 
zur Judischen Alterthumskunde,' Vienna, 1887 (pp. 83-90), 
where he deals merely with what is here paragraph 13. I 
have discovered in the ' Sepher ha Qana,' that old mystical 
book published in Kores (fol. 3'2/> and 32c), an absolutely 
identical parallel to the whole of the first portion from 
paragraph 1 to paragraph 13 of our text. Judah Barcelloni, 
or Jehudah Barzillai, who lived at the beginning of the 
twelfth century, in his Commentary to the Book Yesira (ed. 
Halberstam, p. 8), has also a fragment of our text which he 
mentions under the name of ' Midrash.' We see already 
how old this text must be. Epstein, studying the parallels 
to our paragraphs 11, 12, 13 and 14 {loc. cit., p. 83, quotes 
this portion from the work called ' Arugath ha-B6sem.' As 
the author of this work is one of the few who mention our 
Jerahmeel {ride Perles, loc. cit.), there cannot be any doubt 
that the immediate source from which he derived his 
information was evidently our text, unknown to Epstein. 


For some portions we can go even much further back, for 
we find parallels already in Josephus ('Antiquities,' iii., 12, 
vi.) ; the description of the trumpets and the manner in 
which they were used correspond with paragraphs 8, 9, and 
the symbolical interpretation of the twelve stones of the 
Ephod and of the four banners of the Jewish camp, the 
latter representing the four elements of the world and the 
former the twelve signs of the Zodiac, is almost identical 
with that of Josephus ('Antiquities,' Book iii., 7, vii.). 

A detailed description of the stone of each tribe we find 
further in our Philo-Jerahmeel (fol. 28^7) corresponding 
almost verbatim with paragraph 13, with the only excep- 
tion that in Philo-Jerahmeel the signs of the Zodiac are 
omitted. I do not wish to dwell here on the connection 
between this portion and the Lapidaria, of which the 
oldest is ascribed to Epiphanius, who lived in Palestine ; con- 
cerning Hebrew Lapidaria ride Steinschneider, ' Ueberset- 
zungen,'pp. 236 et seq., 963 et seq. The Latin text is very 
obscure, and shows that the original from which it was trans- 
lated must have been a very difficult one. Somewhat similar 
to paragraph 13 is the Jerusalem. Targum to Num., chap, ii., 
ver. 2 ct seq. All this denotes extreme antiquity, and as 
it was evidently known to Josephus, it is not at all 
improbable that it belongs to an extremely ancient period. 

In our Hebrew text paragraph 14 has a marginal note 
indicating that it had been borrowed from, or probably 
found in, the Glosses of Ephraim Alibha, but as this text 
is quoted already by older authorities, the marginal note 
can only refer to the copy that existed also among the 
manuscripts of this unknown Ephraim of Bonn (eleventh 
century ?) or Ephraim of Piegensbourg, the teacher of Eabbi 
Jehudah ha-Hasid. No parallels have I been able to 
find for paragraphs 15-17, whilst paragraph 18 corresponds 
to a certain extent with the ' Barayta of the making of the 
Tabernacle,' ed. Flesch, chap, xii., ed. Jellinek, chap, xiii., 
but these two are incomplete and faulty. 

In Chapter LIY. we return to the history of the Exodus, 
and have a minute description of the smiting of the first- 


born, also a continued narrative which must have been 
known in ancient times, as portions of it are found else- 
where. To paragraph 1, cf. Chapter xlviii. of Eabbi Eliezer, 
and to paragraph 2 Pesiqta di E. Kahana (ed. Buber, fol. 
65a) {ride note 56), cf. Mekhilta, paragraph 13 (ed. Friedman, 
fol. 13/>), Tanhuma, Parashat Bo, sec. 7, and in Midrash 
'Vayosha' to Exodus, chap, xv., ver. 6, in a somewhat 
different order. Nowhere are all these combined together 
into one legend as in our text. Parallels to paragraphs 8 
and 9, where the two wizards Johanai and Mamre (who 
were mentioned in the Chronicle of Moses) appear in a 
totally different form, being able to ascend to the heavenly 
throne, have I found only in * Yayosha ' (to chap, xv., 
vers. 9, 10). But our version is much more complete than 
the fragmentary, in the Midrash ' Yayosha.' 

Chapter LV. — The history of Korah and his rebellion 
forms the contents of this Chapter. To the various inci- 
dents and parables mentioned therein we find here and 
there a parallel in other books, evidently borrowed from 
this more complete legend. So do we find a parallel to 
paragraph 1 in the Midrash to Psalm i. (edit. Buber, p. 14) ; 
in a better form in Yalqut (L, fol. 229f/, paragraph 750) ; 
in fol. 229c there are parallels to paragraphs 5, 6, and 7, 
which are also found in the Tanhuma {ad loc). The 
manner in which On was saved by the w^isdom of his wife, 
described here in paragraph 9 et seq., is found in the 
Talmudic treatise ' Sanhedrin,' fol. 109^. The deep counsel 
which Balaam is said by tradition to have given to the 
King of Moab in order to entice the Israelites to sin, is set 
forth in paragraphs 10 and 11. We find the parallel to it 
in the same treatise ' Sanhedrin,' fol. 106a ; a very elaborate 
description of it in the Book of Yashar, chap. Ixxxv., ver. 53 
et seq.; then in Sifrei (i., paragraph 131 (ed. Friedman, 
p. 47^) ; chapters of Rabbi Eliezer (xlvii.) ; Comestor (Num., 
chap, xxxiv.) ; and in the Slavonic ' Palaea ' (first version, 
p. 106). 

Chapter LYI. is full of non-Jewish history. All the 
historical details given therein, except paragraph 2, are 



found in Eusebius, Isidorus, and in Comestor. Paragraph 1, 
Commestor, Exodus, chap. xxiv. ; paragraphs 3 and 4, 
Eusebius, column 383 and 384; Isidorus, p. 3806^ and note; 
Comestor, Joshua, chap. xvii. ; paragraph 5, Isidorus, iM.; 
Comestor, Judges, chap. v. In paragraph 2 reference is 
made to Joseph ben Gorion, but nothing hke it is found 
in our text of Yosippon. 

Chapter LVII. contains that apocryphal history of Kenaz 
to which I have referred above, which is here quoted as 
the work of ' Philo, the friend of Joseph, the son of Gorion.' 
It is literally identical with our 'Philo,' fol. 25b onwards. 
Paragraph 39 here is the vision of Kenaz published by 
M. E. James in Latin ('Apocrypha Anecdota,' Cambridge, 
1893, p. 178). 

Chapter LVIII. is a peculiar mixture of legends, partly 
consisting of abstracts from Philo-Jerahmeel, and partly 
intercalations of incidents from non-Jewish history. In no 
chapter throughout this book can we see so clearly as in 
this chapter the interweaving of these two elements, and 
this strengthens me in the belief that the last copyist must 
have found these two texts already intimately blended in 
his original. Comestor, as I have already remarked, follows 
exactly the same system ; but it is the system of all ancient 
chroniclers, and in a remoter degree we find an attempt 
at synchronistic history even in Josephus himself. Of 
Chapter LVIII., the paragraphs 4 and 5, and 7-10 corre- 
spond entirely with Philo, fol. 34:d, 38c, 396 ; whilst to para- 
graph 2 we find parallels in Comestor, Judges, chap, vi.; para- 
graph 6, ibid., chap. vii. ; to paragraph 8, ibid., chap. viii. 
The difference, however, between these versions is very 
considerable. Here we can at once recognise that the inter- 
polation is derived from a Latin source. Mistakes in spell- 
ing, misunderstandings of the original, abound. What 
Jerahmeel calls 'Syrenis' appears there as 'Syringas.' All 
that which follows is either missing or is in a different 
order. Paragraph 9 (where the word ' chorus ' is left un- 
translated, and merely transliterated "ii3, so that I trans- 
lated wrongly ' measure ') is equal to Isidor, p. 380a and 


note 18, and Comestor, Judges ix. and x. ; and paragraph 
11 to Comestor, Judges xi. What we read m the Hebrew 
as ' Nizpah ^ (my copy may, perhaps, not have been 
quite clear) is read correctly by Isidor (p. 380/0 and by 
Comestor ' Nympha,' the name ' Carmenta ' has entirely 
dropped out in the Hebrew\ ' Dialus ' in paragraph 8 is pro- 
bably 'Dsedalus ' (so Isidor, but somewhat different legend). 

Chapter LIX. is also partly literally identical with 
Philo; so paragraphs 1-8 equal to Philo, fol. 40r/. Then 
follow paragraphs 8-12, taken from non-Jewish history. 
From paragraph 12 on up to the Assumption of Phineas, 
who is clearly identified here with the prophet Elijah, 
we have in two pages an abstract from a narrative which 
is very much spread-out in Philo and filled up with 
prayers and exhortations (fol. 44fZ-46f?). Passing to 
details, we have in paragraph 4 the Lamentation of 
Seelah, published also by Mr. James in the ' Anecdota ' 
(p. 182). The name of the mountain which appears here 
in the Hebrew as ' Telag ' reads in the Latin ' Telach,' and 
in James's copy ' Stellac' Here we have an evident proof 
for the Semitic origin. This name is none other but the 
local Aramaic name for Mount ' Hermon.' The Targum to 
Deuteronomy, chap, iii., ver. 9, has for the Hebrew Hermon 
' Tur Taiga ' — the mountain of Telag ; that is, the snow- 
capped mountain. 

To paragraph 8 et seq., containing non- Jewish history, 
I refer as parallel Comestor, Judges, chap. xii. ; para- 
graph 9, ibid., chap. xiii. ; paragraph 14, ibid., chap. xiv. ; 
but still more identical with Isidorus, ' Chronicon,' p. 381, 
where all these incidents, together with many more missing 
in Jerahmeel, follow upon one another as one consecutive 
text, just as we have it here, and not broken up over 
the whole period from the time of the Judges to that 
of the last kings, as is the case in Comestor's work. 
In this paragraph 14 we find the very remarkable and 
thus far the only reference, by the author, to the era 
which he used. He says distinctly, ' We calculate the date 
from the destruction of the Temple.' The dating of the 


era from the destruction of the Temple lasted for a short 
time only, and was almost exclusively limited to Spain. 

To the second half of paragraph 10, cf. Comestor, 
Kings IV., chap. xxv. ; and to section 11, ihid., chap, xxxi.- 
xxxiii. With this chapter finishes the parallelism between 
Philo's Latin and Jerahmeel's Hebrew chronicle, which 
apparently stopped at the period of Samuel. Paragraphs 
8 to 11 are apparently intercalated. In them history is 
carried down to the time of Hezekiah ; but the writer takes 
up the thread of his, thus interrupted, narrative with the 
beginning of paragraph 11, saying, 'We now return to the 
Judges.' Everything from the time of Samuel to the 
destruction of the first Temple is omitted. There are no 
Hebrew legends known elsewhere that treat of this period ; 
hence, also, none in our ' Jerahmeel.' 

The following chapters deal with the fate that befell 
the Ten Tribes in the Exile, and included therein are also 
versions of the ancient legends concerning the history of 
the Children of Moses, who were taken up immediately 
after they had left Palestine, were carried far away miracu- 
lously, and settled behind the river Sambatyon, to lead an 
idyllic life in absolute peace. 

Chapter LX. contains a description of the ' eight times ' 
the Jews were exiled from Palestine by Sancherib and 
Nebuchadnezzar. The description of these Exiles differs 
entirely from all the other versions that are known to 
exist. All these speak of ten, and carry history down till 
after the destruction of the second Temple, under Titus 
and Vespasianus, whilst our text stops short at the destruc- 
tion of the first Temple by the Chaldeans. Those other 
texts have been published first in a Mantua edition 
(1514), as an addition to Abraham ibn Daud's abstract 
from Yosippon, who probably had found this legend in the 
same MS. as the Yosippon, of which he made an abstract 
exactly as it is here in our text of 'Jerahmeel,' where 
we have also this legend side by side with 'Yosippon.' 
Sebastianus Munster has reprinted the abstract and this 
addition in Basle, 1527; and another reprint has ap- 


peared in Basle in 1599, pp. 276-287, which seems to have 
escaped the notice of our bibhographers. Jellinek has 
reprinted what pretends to be an exact copy of this Basle 
edition, but not correctly ('Bet. Ham.,' vol. iv., pp. 133- 
136), and a still more different version {ibid., vol. v., p. 113 
et seq.). Comparing now his text with ours, we find in the 
first instance that all the others number ten Exiles, while 
this limits the number to eight ; furthermore, that all 
those printed editions are much shorter, leaving out some- 
times half and more of our text. Our version is evidently 
the more primitive, as it counts only eight, up to the 
destruction of the first Temple, and at the same time the 
most complete, for this text alone has preserved also that 
Jeremiah legend for which I know no other parallel, save 
those in the ' Baruch ' cycle. The substance agrees, 
furthermore, with the tradition as given in the ' Seder 
'01am Kabba,' chap. xxv. ct seq. (edit. Eatner, p. 110). 
Cf. notes thereto by the editor, note 9 et seq. 

Chapters LXI. to LXIIL— The fate of the Ten Tribes and, 
connected with them, that of the Levites, or Children of 
Moses going into exile, has exercised the mind of the people 
from very ancient times. The question is already dis- 
cussed in the fourth Book of Ezra, in the apocryphal letter 
of Baruch. It was, moreover, mixed up from very early 
times with the history of the Eechabites, and later on 
with that of the Gymnosophistes and the Brachmans; it 
entered into the Alexander legend, vide the Eomance 
published by me {Jonrn. Royal Asiatic Soc., 1897, chaps, 
lii.-liii.), and into Christian apocryphal literature, such as 
the narrative of Zosimus, concerning the life of the blessed, 
alluded to already in the third century, and in the various 
versions of the Macarius legend. We know of its existence 
in Hebrew literature in the seventh century, and later on 
it got into the narrative of that mysterious traveller Eldad 
ha-Dani, who pretends to have visited those various tribes, 
and to have learned of the existence of the Children of 
Moses beyond the river Sambatyon. As he flourished in 
the ninth century, our legend must perforce be much 


older, and it is as yet not known distinctly how much of 
his narrative is due to his own experience, and how much 
he has borrowed from older legends already in circulation 
and has incorporated into his sailor's yarn. 

A contribution to the solution of the problem connected 
with that name is furnished by our book, with no less than 
three different versions of the cycle of these legends. The 
most amplified is here ascribed not to Eldad, but to a 
certain Elhanan, and this version again seems to be the 
most primitive of that legend which has been connected 
with the name of Eldad. Various texts have been published 
which contain either the legends of the tribes, or of the 
Children of Moses, either singly, or mixed up with those of 
Eldad (Jellinek, ' Bet. Ham.,' vol. ii., pp. 102-13 ; vol. iii., 
pp. 6-11 ; vol. v., pp. 17-21 ; and vol. vi., pp. 15-18). The 
whole cycle of the Eldad legends has been subjected to a 
critical investigation by Mr. Epstein, in his work called 
'Eldad ha-Dani' (Pressburg, 1891). I do not agree 
with the results at which he arrives. He connects the 
narrative of Eldad with Abyssinian legends, forgetting that 
the information obtained from Abyssinia is of recent origin, 
and can in no way prove anything for facts at least a 
thousand years older, recorded among Jews living in the 
Arabian Peninsula or around the Persian Gulf. It is not 
at all improbable, in fact it is very likely, that some of 
the customs and ceremonies noted now among the Jewish 
Fallashas in Abyssinia have been introduced from those 
parts, either from Egypt or from the Persian Gulf, which 
latter I consider to be the starting-point of Elhanan's travels. 
Of the texts published by Epstein, we find the one incor- 
porated into the first version of Eldad's narrative to be 
identical with the greater part of our Chapter LXI. The 
beginning has evidently been omitted when this legend was 
tacked on to the cycle of Eldad. It follows, therefrom, 
that our text, being more complete, is the more primitive. 
Paragraphs 2-4 correspond with Eldad, i., paragraphs 7-9 
(pp. 5-6 ; cf. p. 13, also note 10 et seq.). Concerning para- 
graph 1, which gives us the exact date of the banishment, 


cf. * Seder 01am Kabba,' chap, xxx., ed. Eatner, pp. 147-149, 
vide note 93 et seq. 

Chapter LXII. — The second version has the pecuhar 
superscription, ' The ten banishments of the Sanhedrin,' 
although not a word of the Sanhedrin is mentioned in the 
text. It may mean the banishment of the ten communities 
or tribes. This is absolutely identical with the version con- 
tained in the ' Midrash Rabba Rabbati,' and it is, if any- 
thing, more perfect than the copy preserved in the manu- 
script of Prague, from which Epstein has reprinted it 
(loc. cit., pp. 42-45). This again proves the author of the 
* Midrash Rabba Rabbati ' to have borrowed his legendary 
material from our compilation. 

Chapter LXIII. is an amplified recapitulation of the last 
legend. This time it is presented under the form of a 
recital of the adventures of Elhanan the sailor, who happened 
to come to the country occupied by the descendants of 
Dan. From them he learned all about their past, and he 
went from them to visit the other tribes. In his narrative 
he has incorporated (paragraphs 11-14) the legendary 
history of the Children of Moses and of the happy land 
in which they are living, surrounded by the river Sam- 
batyon, that flows for six days of the week, but rests on the 
Sabbath day, when a flame descends and covers the river, 
protecting them from any possible contact with the outer 
world. From them he goes on to visit other tribes, until he 
comes to the sons of Judah and Simeon, which means to the 
Jews scattered in this part of the world, and when Danite 
merchants come he returns with them to their country. 
We see here distinctly how the older material has been 
bodily incorporated into this tale, which forms a kind of 
traveller's romance — the oldest version of the Sinbad cycle 
— in the same manner in which biblical legends have been 
used for liturgical purposes, and have been incorporated 
into homilies. Elhanan' s tale agrees in the main with the 
fourth version of Eldad (Epstein, loc. cit., p. 47 et seq.), 
having many points in common with it ; among other 
things, the names of the various kings with whom they are 


fighting (paragraph 6) corresponding in our edition to para- 
graph 8. Professor David Heinrich Mliller has attempted 
to examine the names of these nations, which occur also in 
the second version pubHshed by Epstein (p. 22 et seq., and 
grouped together by him on p. 38). In our text we have a 
list of eighteen names, which in the other versions have been 
reduced to seven. A few of these names agree with those 
in our text, but on the whole they are different and difficult 
to identify. 

Having as it were finished with the history of the Ten 
Tribes, Jerahmeel very skilfully returns to the history of 
the Jews in the Exile, and translates into Hebrew the 
Aramaic portions of Daniel, who lived there. He retains, 
however, those portions of Daniel which are not forming 
part of the Hebrew Bible, viz., the old Apocrypha, in their 
original Aramaic language, in the very form in which they 
served as basis to Theodotion for his Greek translation, as 
I have set forth in my edition of those two chapters con- 
taining the history of Daniel and the Dragon, and the 
history of Daniel and Bel, as well as the Song of the 
Three Children in the Fiery Furnace. These apocryphal 
portions have been declared by some scholars not to be the 
original texts, but probably late translations from the Latin 
or Greek, It now so happens, as stated above (p. xlix), 
that Eeymundus Martini, in his ' Pugio Fidei,' has pre- 
served to us a portion of this very Aramaic text of Daniel 
in the lion's den, which he had taken from the ' Midrash 
Eabbati ' of Moses Hadarschan. It is a literal quotation 
from our book, being absolutely identical also with the 
manuscript of the ' Eabbati ' published by Neubauer. Every 
doubt as to its antiquity and authenticity is undoubtedly 
hypercritical. I have omitted the texts here, as they have 
already been published elsewhere by me. 

Chapter LXIV. — From this incident Jerahmeel proceeds 
to the description of the evil deeds of two false prophets in 
the Exile, who are mentioned in the Bible, together with 
the peculiar punishment inflicted upon them by Nebuchad- 
nezzar. This old legend explains the reason for their being 


roasted alive as a consequence of the attempt to commit 
adultery with the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. It is 
identical in every detail with the same tale contained in 
Talmud treatise ' Sanhedrin,' fol. 93a, my ' Exempla of the 
Kabbis,' No. 28, and both identical with the Jerusalem 
treatise ' Sanhedrin,' fol. 9da. An abstract of it, ride Tan- 
huma, ed. Buber, Levit. Eabba, section 10, paragraph 7 ; 
Yalqut to Jeremiah, paragraph 309, and in the Midrash 
Haggadol, Exodus, portion Jethro. 

Chapter LXV. — Jerahmeel now leads on to the History 
of Susanna, w^here the two elders and judges attempt the 
very same sin for which those false prophets had been 
punished. An old tradition identifies these elders with 
those false prophets. Here we are entering already into 
the domain of the known biblical apocryphal literature, 
and I cannot do better than refer to Schiirer's ' Geschichte 
d. Jiid. Yolkes,' H.^ p. 716 et seq. I refer also specially 
to Bruell's study in his ' Jahrbuch ' (vol. iii., pp. 1-69). 
The crucial point in this history is the Greek names 
of the trees under which Susanna is said to have been 
seen by the two elders committing adultery, which names, 
being a play upon the words, seemed to indicate Greek 
origin. We find here totally different names. The 
Hebrew version in our text is thus far the only ancient 
Hebrew text of this History of Susanna know^n to exist, 
and it is noteworthy that it is not to be found even 
in Yosippon, which contains all the other apocryphal 
additions to the Book of Daniel in full. A modern Hebrew 
text, which may rest upon some older translation, is printed 
in ' Otzar Hakodesh,' Lemberg, 1851 (probably a reprint 
from an older edition which I have not yet been able to 
trace) ; but it is undoubtedly derived from a Latin 
original. Jellinek has not reprinted this version in his ' B. 
Ham.,' nor has any scholar found hitherto another ancient 
Hebrew text of the History of Susanna. Jerahmeel alone 
has preserved such a Hebrew version of the Susanna 
legend. In some details this text agrees more with the 
Syriac than with the Latino-Greek version. Especially 


noteworthy is the difference in the names. In our text 
the father of Susanna is called ' Shealtiel,' whilst in all 
the other versions he is called ' Chelkia.' In connection 
with this it might be pointed out that Shealtiel was the 
father of Zerubbabel ; Susanna is probably taken to be his 
sister, and her husband King Jehoiachin. Hippolytus, 
Syncellus, and others identify him indeed with the King 
of Judah, who was carried away into the captivity at 
Babylon (2 Kings, chap, xxiv., ver. 15; and chap, xxv., 
ver. 27). This name seems to be more appropriate, and 
to represent the older tradition, which would centre round 
the prominent figure of the former King of Judah in 
preference to any obscure personage. The parallel history 
in Comestor, Daniel, chap, xiii., differs completely from the 

Chapter LXYL— In this chapter follows a short history 
of Nebuchadnezzar's apparent but not real change into an 
animal, who behaves like a wild beast for seven months. 
No other trace of this version have I found in the Hebrew 
literature. Parallels we find to it, however, in Epiphanius, 
'Vita Danielis'; 'Chronicon Paschale,' ed. Bonn, i., pp. 299, 
300 ; Fabricius, p. 1124 et seq. ; and also Comestor, Daniel, 
chap, iv., who quotes Epiphanius. Paragraphs 3-6, ride 
Comestor, Daniel, chap, v., but already so in Josephus, 
' Antiquities,' x., 11, i.-ii. The names of the sons of Evil 
Merodach (here paragraph 6) are given by Josephus as 
Niglissar, Labsardacus, and Naboandelus (who is the well- 
known Naboned). Comestor has Egessar, Labosardoch, 
and Nabar. Paragraph 6, less fully in Second Targum 
to Esther, chap, i., vide Levit. Kabba, section 18, p. 2 ; 
Tanhuma Tazri'a, section 10; ' Seder 01am Eabba,' chap, 
xxviii., ed. Piatner, p. 125, and note 7. 

Chapter LXYIL— From paragraph 67 on, the bulk of 
the rest of the Chronicle — with few exceptions, which 
will be treated separately— is taken bodily from the Yosippon, 
or, as the compiler says, from the ' Book of Joseph ben 

A short reference, which shows the relation in which our 


text stands to the edition of Breithaupt, will suffice, always 
remembering that the text of Jerahmeel is simpler, the 
names much more correct and clear, and in the main 
agreeing with the old edition of Conte (Mantua, circa 1480). 
According to his custom, Jerahmeel copies here once more 
the history of Daniel in the lion's den, because he finds it 
also in Yosippon, although he had already included it 
previously in his collection from an independent, older 

Chapter LXYII. corresponds with Breithaupt, Book I., 
chap. V. 

Chapter LXVIII. corresponds with Breithaupt, Book I, 
chaps, vi., vii. 

Chapter LXIX. corresponds with Breithaupt, Book I., 
chap. viii. 

Chapter LXX. corresponds with Breithaupt, Book I., 
chaps, ix., X., xi. (The history of Daniel in the lion's den.) 

Chapter LXXI. corresponds with Breithaupt, Book I., 
chap. xii. 

Chapter LXXII. corresponds with Breithaupt, Book I., 
chap. xiii. (The history of Daniel and the Temple of Bel.) 

Chapter LXXIII. corresponds with Breithaupt, Book L, 
chap. xiv. (The history of Daniel and the dragon.) 

In Chapter LXXIY. et seq., which corresponds with 
Breithaupt, I., chaps, xv., xvi., we have the Hebrew 
parallel (in Yosippon and in Jerahmeel) to the so-called 
Apocryphal Third Ezra (chap. iii. et seq.). The order in 
the Hebrew text is different, and the interpretation of the 
riddles much more correct and much clearer than in the 
Greek text. The marked divergence from any other text 
proves that there cannot be a question of our text being a 
translation from the Greek or from the Latin texts known. 
In spite of the opinion expressed by Zunz (G. Y.^ p. 154 
et seq. ; and p. 160, note d), not a single trace of Latin 
influence can be detected thus far in the Hebrew text of 
Yosippon, and in the corresponding portion in Jerahmeel. 

Chapter LXXY. corresponds with Breithaupt, I., xvii., 
xviii., and the beginning of xix. 


Chapter LXXVI. corresponds with middle of xix. (Breit- 
haupt, p. 56). 

Chapter LXXVII. corresponds with chaps, xx., xxi. 

Chapter LXXVIII. is a continuation of chap. xxi. 
(Breithaupt, only as far as p. 65). It is to be remarked 
that the personal note in p. 65 (ed. Breithaupt), where 
Joseph ben Gorion identifies himself with Josephus, is 
entirely missing in our text, and in the ed. Conte (folio 13, 
column b). The text continues in our copy exactly in the 
same manner as in the ed. Conte, corresponding with 
beginning of chap. xxii. of ed. Breithaupt. The whole 
portion from pp. 65-68 being entirely omitted. 

With Chapter LXXIX.-LXXXIV. begins the cycle of 
Apocryphal legends round the Book of Esther. Of these 
only the first two chapters containing the dream and 
prayer of Mordecai and Esther's prayer form part of the 
known bibhcal Apocrypha, and are taken here from Yosippon. 
This chapter corresponds with Book II., chaps, i.-iv., ed. 
Breithaupt. I have found the whole text of this dream 
of Mordecai in a fragment from the Geniza, which seems 
to be a portion of an old chronicle (Yosippon ? — or a 
similar), and is characterized by the fact that the Hebrew 
words have the vowel signs. Two old Aramaic texts have 
been published by de Eossi, and then reprinted by Jellinek 
pB. Ham.,' i., pp. 1-8). Merx in his ' Chrestomathia 
Targumica ' (pp. 164-174) has reprinted a text from a 
manuscript written in the year 1189. I necessarily ignore 
the translation made from the Latin by Jacob ben Machir, 
and printed by Jellinek (ibid., p. 9 et seq.). For the further 
history of these texts in the Apocrypha, cf. Schiirer, loc, 
cit., 11.'^, p. 715. Josephus has also introduced the same 
legends into his text ('Antiquities,' xi. 6), as he has done 
with the other Apocrypha of Daniel in x. 11, and the 
Solutions of the Problems by Zerubbabel, xi. 3. 

Chapter LXXXI.— To these biblical Apocrypha Jerah- 
meel had added a series of similar legends. First we have 
the letter which Haman sent to the princes and 
rulers of the Persian kingdom to destroy the Jews. It is 


absolutely identical with the text found in the Midrash Aba 
Gorion (ed. Buber, p. 42), and I am inclined to believe that 
this Aba Gorion is none other than our Joseph ben Gorion, 
and that the text of the letter has been borrowed from a 
more complete recension of the Yosippon than that which 
we have before us. From a Codex de Rossi a similar letter 
has been published by Perreau in the ' Hamazkir ' (1864, 
v.-vii., pp. 46, 47). To paragraph 3, cf. Haggadoth 
Esther (ed. Buber, p. 37), ride especially Aba Gorion, 
folio 16a, and Esther Rabba, chap, vii., paragraph 13 ; 
Midrash Esther (ed. Horowitz, p. 68), and Jellinek, ' Bet. 
Ham.,' vi. (p. 54). 

The whole text contained in Chapter LXXXL, paragraph 7, 
up to Chapter LXXXIL, paragraph 6, is found in Aba 
Gorion (p. 32 et seq.). Our text is again fuller and more 
harmonious in its details than the parallel passage, show- 
ing it to have retained the primitive form, which has been 
curtailed when utilized for homiletic purposes in that 
Hagadic collection. The same has happened to this text 
as to the other biblical legends mentioned above, for the 
beginning of Chapter LXXXIII. has been omitted, whilst 
from the middle of paragraph 1 to the middle of paragraph 7 
is found verbatim in the Haggadoth Esther (ed. Buber, 
pp. 60-61, and note 8 et seq., where the whole parallel 
literature is referred to). 

Chapter LXXXIV. — A description of the wonderful 
throne of King Solomon. Its place in our collection is 
easily explained by the fact that from very ancient times 
the throne upon which Ahasuerus was sitting (in Esther, 
chap. i. 5) is said to have been the throne of Solomon 
carried away by Nebuchadnezzar. A description of it 
occurs, therefore, at the very beginning of the so-called 
second Targum to the Book of Esther. (The English trans- 
lation of it, by P. Cassel, appeared together with his com- 
mentary to the Book of Esther, as Appendix I., p. 207 
et seq.). The literature that has gathered round this throne 
is very vast. This description is also found in the 
Midrash Aba Gorion (pp. 52-58), in my ' Exempla of the 


Eabbis,' No. 115. Another text has been printed by Perles, 
reprinted by Jellinek, ' B. Ham.,' vol. v., p. 39 (see 
pp. vi-viii.) An elaborate monograph on it by P. Cassel, 
cf. also Massmann, 'Kaiser Chronik,' vol. iii., p. 889, a 
description of a similar throne made by Kosroe, King of 

Chapter LXXXV.-C. — The concluding chapters bear the 
title the Book of the Maccabee, being limited to the history 
of Judah ' the ' Maccabee. They are identical with the 
corresponding portion of Yosippon, with the exception of 
the history of Alexander the Great, interpolated into the 
ed. Breithaupt, and missing in Jerahmeel and ed. Conte. 

The close parallelism begins with LXXXV., paragraph 2 
= ed. Breithaupt II., chapter vi. and vii. ; LXXXYI. = III., 
chapter i. ; Chapter LXXX VII. = Book III., chapters ii. 
and iii. ; LXXXVIII. = III., chapters iii. and iv. In 
Chapter LXXXIX. we have the history of the Mother and 
the Seven Sons, the martyrs = Book III., chapters v. and 
vi. This is one of the well-known Apocrypha, and stands 
at the head of a very large cycle of legends. In most of 
the Hebrew parallels she is called Hannah, or Miriam, vide 
my 'Exempla' of the Rabbis. No. 57; 'Echa Rabb,' chap, i., 
paras. 47-50; ' Pesiqta Rabbati,' chap. xxix. ; 'Yalqut,'i., 
paragraph 93 ; Talmud treatise ' Kethuboth,' fol. 64, etc. ; 
Zunz, G. Y.2, pp. 131, 152, 190. Chapter XC. - III, chapters 
vii., viii. ; XCI. = III., chapter ix. ; XCII.=III., chapters 
X., xi. ; XCIII.^IIL, chapter xii. The general is called 
Bakires, as in the Scroll of the Hasmoneans, and not 
Bacchides, as the Greek texts have it. 

Chapter XCIY. = III., chap. xiii. ; Chapter XCV. = III, 
chap. xiv. ; the place of the fight mentioned here in para- 
graphs 2 and 3 is written in the Hebrew ' Bethtur '; in the 
Greek texts, 2 Maccab. (chap, xi., ver. 5), it is called 
Bethzura ; so also Josephus. In Yosippon (ed. Breithaupt, 
p. 216) Beter {vide note 6). By the orthography in 
Jerahmeel, and by this identity of names, it is becoming 
clear which place is meant by the town of the same name, 
famous in the war of Barcochba. It is evidently none else 


than this Bethtur, the fortress near Jerusalem. The old 
geographical puzzle is now solved with the assistance of 
our ' Jerahmeel.' 

Chapter XCVI. = III., chaps, xv. and part of xvii. ; 
Chapter XCVII. corresponds to the continuation of 
chap. xvii. and xviii, ; Chapter XCVIII. = chaps, xix. 
and XX. ; Chapter XCIX. = chaps, xxi. and xxii. ; and 
finally Chapter C. = chap, xxiii., end of Book III. (ed. 

We have thus rounded off the history of the w^orld as 
told by Jerahmeel with the aid of old Apocrypha, begin- 
ning with the Creation and finishing with the death of 
Judas Maccabeus. We have in our book the oldest example 
of the Bible Historiale, an amplification of the Bible narra- 
tive by means of legendary tales, many of which, in fact 
most of which, have their roots in extreme antiquity, 
written down, with perhaps a few exceptions, in the first 
centuries before or after the Common Era, handed on in 
a surprisingly perfect form, preserved through the love, 
the industry, and conscientiousness of one compiler who 
could not have lived later than the sixth or seventh 
century, copied a second time with the same conscientious 
care and enlarged by a man who may have lived in the 
tenth or eleventh century, and forming, then, the starting- 
point for a third equally conscientious continuator in the 
thirteenth or fourteenth century. It is at once the oldest 
and best corpus of Apocryphal and Pseudo-epigraphical 
books of which any literature can boast. 

We are now in a better position to review the whole field 
of that ancient literary activity, and to prepare a critical 
edition of the texts contained in this compilation. Through 
the comparison with the existing parallels, I have en- 
deavoured to show that these represent the oldest and most 
complete recensions. I have laid bare unsuspected connec- 
tions betw^een the literatures of many tongues and many 
lands. I have followed up not merely the main stream of 
literary tradition to its remotest course, but also some 
lateral channels. I have endeavoured to trace the oldest 


available sources of all the stores of legends which have 
enriched the literatures of the world, Jewish, Christian, 
and Mahomedan alike, which have so deeply influenced 
poetry and art in the middle ages, and which have kept 
human fancy playing for two thousand years round the 
stern figures of the Old Testament. 



Behold I have sworn not to lend anybody this book to take 
away, with the exception of three, whom I shall mention 
by name, but whoever desires to read it at my house is at 
liberty to do so. 

Behold I am the youngest of all my family. I, Elaaar, 
son of Pi. Asher, the Levite, have set my mind upon writing 
from precious and valuable secular books, for my spirit 
bore me aloft and filled me with enthusiasm in the days of 
my youth, wdien I was easygoing and keen-witted. For I 
saw many books scattered and dispersed here and there. 
I then resolved to collect them, and unite them in one 
book. I then made a collection of the words of the wise 
and their aphorisms, and wrote them down in a book for 
the use of those who love parable and history, and for 
wise men generally who are not otherwise occupied, in 
order that they may reflect upon these things, so that they 
may see, understand, and know the truth concerning a few 
of the events which have taken place under the sun, and of 
a few of the troubles and afflictions which our ancestors 
endured in their exile, and what vicissitudes they under- 
went when the tempest swept over them, so that they may 
not be forgotten by their seed. Therefore 1 called this 
book the ' Book of Chronicles,' wherein may be recorded 


many varied events. For I have collected in this hook 
records of all events and incidents ^Yhich have happened 
from the creation of the world until the present day as it 
is written in this hook, and as I found, so I copied, and I 
have deftly woven the materials to form one hook. 

Nor did I write them to make myself a great name, hut 
to the glory of my Creator, who truly knows, and so that 
this book should be a memorial for future generations ; 
and whoever chooses to add to this book may add, and may 
blessing fall upon him. Behold I hope that God may 
make my son worthy of inheriting this Book of Chronicles, 
which I have collected from many books. I wrote it, and 
laid aside many affairs for its sake, so as to be able to 
complete it. The bulk of it I wrote in the autumn and 
winter, for I only had leisure at that time. ' In the day 
the drought consumed me, and the cold at night, and drove 
my sleep from my eyes.' And many events have happened, 
and what I was not able to do in the daytime, I did at 
night, for I neither rested nor reposed until I had com- 
pleted its composition. For I gave a long time to it, and 
I was constantly occupied upon its composition, and I was 
continually busy with it, and I worked and laboured vigor- 
ously until I had selected each subject and placed it in its 
proper position, like a pearl in its setting and like a hook in 
its eye, and had I done it for payment no sum would have 
satisfied me, for I dwelt upon it days and years until I had 
completed its composition, for I had not always the books 
to copy it from, nor had I often the leisure, whilst occa- 
sionally I was not in the humour, on account of many 
misfortunes which befell me in my captivity. Therefore 
I conjure and command my son — since I bequeath him 
this Book of Chronicles — that 1 hand it to him on his 
undertaking to fulfil the solemn conditions which I impose 
upon him, a father to his son. He may not sell it, nor 
may he give it away nor pledge it, neither he nor his 
posterity, neither may he exchange it nor substitute any- 
thing else for it. For what will a small amount of money 
avail him, since he could not succeed in purchasing its 


equal or its like in the whole world, either for a large or 
small sum of money ? For I have searched in many places 
before I composed it ; for this reason rather let a man 
pledge or sell the cloak from his back before he disposes 
of this. For I know that nobody can obtain half its worth 
or value, for no scribe could be found to write it for less 
than six small pieces of gold, to say nothing of the parch- 
ment. And who sells it will soon squander the money on 
frivolity ; then he will immediately repent his transaction, 
but in vain. Moreover, I can assure him that he will never 
obtain its like, inasmuch as I know full well that no man 
would compose another such work, on account of the 
magnitude of the task ; further, I know that nobody is 
broad-minded enough to resolve to compose and publish 
such a book as this, for it appears at first sight a collection 
of tales. Nevertheless, if he wishes to dispose of it to one 
of his sons or to one of his brothers, he may do so, but the 
one who acquires it may not override my conditions, but 
must observe everything as set down here. And he may 
only bequeath this book to one of his sons, or, failing male 
issue, he should bequeath it to one of his brothers, but not 
to one of his daughters, who have no portion or inheritance 
in it, that this book may not pass from one tribe to another. 
And do not, my sons, resolve to divide the work into two 
or three portions, so that each one of you may have a share 
in it, but let the one who inherits it receive it in one 
volume. May the one who ignores my writing, transgresses 
my command, or does not fulfil my words, be cursed ; but 
blessed be my descendants, and may they be established if 
they fulfil my wishes. Neither scoff at me when you notice 
in what detail I have communicated my wishes concerning 
this book to my sons, for do ye not know that whatever 
man completes by the labour and toil of his hands he 
values highly? And I knew that unless I did it myself, 
unassisted, I should never have completed it. For who 
can depend upon scribes in the case of a book of this kind ? 
Besides, even if I had the will, could I order scribes to be 
present just as books came to my hand ; and where could I 


get the books from ? Therefore I said, ' If I do not do 
it for myself, who, then, will do it for me?' And God 
enlightened me, and I girded my loins like a mighty man, 
and composed this Book of Chronicles. May God re- 
member it for me for good ! 

(1) With the help of God I commence to write this my book 
without interruption. These are the generations of the 
heavens and the earth when they were created on the day 
when the Lord God made heaven and earth. E. Eliezer, 
son of Hyrqanos, began his homily thus : ' Who can express 
all the mighty acts of God ?' Is there anybody w^ho can 
possibly give utterance to the mighty deeds of God and pro- 
claim all His praise ? Not even the ministering angels can 
do this. It is only possible to recount part of His mighty 
deeds, to explain what He has done and what He in future 
wdll do, so that His great name may be exalted among the 
creatures whom He has created from one end of the world 
to the other, as it is said, ' Every generation shall praise 
Thy works.' Before the world was created God and His 
name alone existed. When it entered His mind to create the 
world, He drew the plan of a world, but it would not stand. 
This may be compared to the action of a man who wishes 
to build a palace: unless he plans out its foundations, its 
exits and its entrances, he cannot commence to build. Thus 
God planned the world before Him, but it would not stand 
until He created repentance. (2) Seven things were created 
prior to the creation of the world, viz. : the Law, repentance, 
the throne of glory, the Garden of Eden, Gehinnom, the 
site of the temple, and the name of the Messiah, and for all 
these things proof is to be found in the Scriptures. 

(3) Eight things were created on the first day, viz., heaven 
and earth, light and darkness, that which was without form 
and void (Tohu va-Bohu), air and water ; and the Spirit of 
God hovered over the surface of the waters. Some say day 

6 [1.3 

and night were also included in the first day of the creation, 
as it is said : ' And it was evening, and it was morning, one 
day.' Eight things were also created on the second day : 
The well (of Miriam), manna, the rod (of Moses), the rain- 
bow, the letters and the writing, the clothes (of Adam and 
Eve), and demons (Maziqim). 

(4) Ten things were paramount in the thought of God at 
the creation, viz. : Jerusalem, the spirits of the patriarchs, 
the ways of the righteous, Gehinnom, the flood, the double 
tables of stone, the Sabbath, the temple, the ark, and the 
light of the future world. (5) Wherefrom were the heavens 
created ? From the brilliancy of God's covering which He 
took up and spread as a garment, and the heavens went on 
extending until He said unto them, ' Be stayed,' and they 
stopped. (6) Whence was the earth created ? From the snow 
beneath the throne of glory. God took it up and scattered 
it upon the waters, then the waters were congealed and 
became the dust of the earth, as it is said, ' For He says 
unto the snow. Become earth.' The boundaries of the 
heavens touch the waters of the ocean, for the waters of 
the ocean (Oqeanos) flow round the extremities of the 
heavens and the earth, and the extremities of the heavens 
are spread upon the waters of the ocean, as it is said, ' Who 
layeth the foundation of His upper chambers in the 
waters.' The heavens rise to an immense height in the 
form of a tent that is spread out, and mortals stand beneath 
it ; its extremity is below, and its centre is above. This is 
the form of the heavens, their extremity is below and their 
centre above, so that all (God's) creatures, as it were, sit 
beneath it as in a tent, as it is said, ' He spread them out 
as a tent for dwelling therein.' (7) Four winds were created 
in the world, viz., the winds coming from the east, south, 
north, and west. From the eastern corner the light of the 
world goeth forth ; from the south, the dews of blessing 
descend upon the world ; from the west emanate the stores 
of snow, hail, cold and heat, and rains for the benefit of the 
world; the north corner of the world He created, but 
did not complete, for He said : Whoever declares himself 

I. 9] 7 

to be God, let him come and finish this corner which I have 
left, and then shall all know that he is a God. There the 
demons, earthquakes, evil spirits, and Shiddim dwell, and 
from there they come forth to the world, as it is said, ' Out 
of the north evil shall break forth ' (Jer. i. 14). 

(8) On the second day He created the firmament, the 
angels, the heat of the living bodies, and the heat of 
Gehinnom. But were not the heavens created on the first 
day? as it is said, 'In the beginning God created the 
heavens.' What, then, is this heaven which was created on 
the second day ? E. Eliezer says : That firmament which 
is above the heads of the four holy creatures, as it is said, ' In 
the likeness of a firmament above the holy creatures.' It 
appears like unto hoar-frost, consisting of precious stones 
and pearls ; it lights up the whole heavens as the light which 
lights up the house, and as the sun which lights up the world 
at noon, as it is said, ' And light dwells with Him.' Simi- 
larly the righteous are destined in the future to enlighten 
the world, as it is said, ' And the wise will shine as the 
brightness of the firmament.' And if the firmament had 
not been created on the second day, the whole world would 
have been drowned by the waters from above, but the 
firmament now separates the upper from the lower waters. 
These angels, which were created on the second day, when 
sent by God, become winds, as it is said : ' He made His 
angels winds.' When they minister before Him, they 
become like fire, as it is said, ' His ministering angels are 
a flaming fire.' (9) Four bands of angels minister unto 
God, the first band, under Michael, on His right, the second, 
under Gabriel, in front of Him, the third, under Uriel, on 
His left, and the fourth, under Eaphael, behind Him. 
The Divine presence of God sits in the centre on a high 
and exalted throne, which is exceedingly majestic, and is 
suspended above in the air, and the appearance of its glory 
is like unto a carbuncle, one half is as fire, and the other 
half is as snow ; a resplendent crown of glory rests upon 
His head, and upon His forehead is written the ineffable 
name of ' God.' His eyes overlook the whole earth ; on 

8 [I. 10 

His right is life, on His left death ; a sceptre of fire is in 
His hand ; a curtain is spread out before Him, (10) and 
the seven angels which ^Yere created first minister before 
Him within the curtain. His footstool is like fire and 
hail, and beneath the throne of glory, it has the appear- 
ance of sapphires ; fire plays round about it ; righteous- 
ness and justice are the supports of His throne ; clouds 
of glory surround it, and the wheel, the ophan, the 
cherub, and the holy creatures sing praises unto Him. 
The throne is like sapphire; it stands upon four legs, 
and four holy creatures are attached to it ; on each side 
are four faces and four wings, as it is said : ' There were 
four faces, which were four angels.' (11) When He 
speaks from the east, from between the two cherubim, 
He speaks in the direction of the face of man ; when 
He speaks from the south. He speaks in the direction of 
the face of the lion; when from the west. He speaks in 
the direction of the oxen ; when from the north, in the 
direction of the eagle ; and opposite Him are the ophanim 
and the wheels of the chariot. When He sits upon the 
throne, high and exalted, and looks round the earth. His 
chariot being upon wheels, through the noise caused by 
the wheels of the chariot, lightnings and earthquakes are 
caused in the world. But when He traverses the heavens, 
He rides upon a swift cherub, as it is said, ' And He rode 
upon a swift cherub.' When He hastens to do a thing. 
He flies upon the wings of the wind, as it is said, ' And 
He flew upon the wings of the wind." (12) Two seraphim 
stand near Him, one on His right side and another on 
His left, each of which has six wings ; with two each of 
them covers his face to prevent them gazing upon the 
Shekinah, and with two they each hide their legs so as 
not to remember the sin of the golden calf, and with two 
they fly, exulting in, and sanctifying. His great name. 
One answers while another proclaims, and one proclaims 
while the other answers, and they say, ' Holy, holy, holy, 
is the Lord of Hosts.' (13) The holy creatures stand with 
reverence and awe, with trembling and quaking, lest they 

II. 5] 9 

be consumed by the fire of the angels ; and from then* faces 
streams down a fiery river, as it is said, ' And a river of 
fire flows before Him ;' and the holy creatures do not know 
the place of His glory, but answer and exclaim wherever 
His glory be, ' Blessed is the glory of the Lord in His 

II. (1) On the third day the earth was like a plain, and 
the waters covered the face of the whole earth. When 
the word of God went forth, saying, ' Let the waters 
be gathered together,' the mountains were lifted up and 
scattered over the earth, and deep valleys were dug down 
in the bowels of the earth, into which the waters rolled 
and w^ere gathered, as it is said, ' The gathering of waters 
He called seas.' The waters then immediately rose tumul- 
tuously to a great height and covered the face of the earth 
as at first, until God rebuked them and subdued them, and 
placed them under the hollow of His feet, and measured 
them in His palm, so that they could neither diminish nor 
increase. He surrounded the sea with sand as a fence, just 
as a man makes a fence for his vineyard. So that when the 
waters approach and see the fence before them they recede, 
as it is said, 'Will they not fear My signs, says the Lord.' 
(2) Before the waters were finally gathered together, the 
rivers and the fountains of the deep were created, for the 
earth was stretched over the waters just as a ship floating 
in the midst of the sea, as it is said, ' To spread out the 
earth over the waters.' (3) And God opened a gate in the 
Garden of Eden and brought forth all kinds of plants, every 
kind of tree yielding fruit after its kind, and every kind of 
grass. He took their seeds and planted them upon the 
earth, as it is said, ' Whose seed is within itself upon the 
earth.' He prepared food for His creatures before they 
were created, as it is said, ' Thou preparest a table before 
me.' (4) All the fountains of waters rise from the depths. 
B. Joshua said that the depth of the earth would take 
sixty years to w^alk through. There is one fountain close 
to Gehinnom which receives and gives out hot waters that 
delight man. (5) B. Jehudah says : Once every month 

10 [11. 6 

rivulets ascend from the depths and water the face of the 
whole earth, as it is said, ' And a spray went up from the 
earth to water the garden.' The thick clouds pass on the 
sound of the water-courses to the seas, and the seas to the 
depths, and the depths to each other, and finally rise and 
give moisture to the clouds, as it is said, ' Who causes the 
vapours to ascend at the end of the earth.' 

(6) The rains descend upon every place bidden them by 
the King, so that the earth immediately flourishes and 
becomes fertile. But when God wishes to bless the land 
and make it fertile and prosperous, so as to feed His 
creatures. He then opens His storehouse of good con- 
tained in the heavens and rains upon the earth, so that it 
immediately becomes fertile and produces the seed of 
blessing, as it is said, ' The Lord will open for thee His 
treasure of good.' 

HI. (1) On the fourth day he formed two lights, one not 
larger than the other; they were identical both in their 
form and in their light, as it is said, ' And God made the 
two lights.' A quarrel ensued between them ; one said to 
the other, ' I am greater than thou.' Therefore God, in 
order to make peace between them, enlarged the one and 
diminished the other, as it is said, 'And the greater to 
rule by day.' (2) E. Eliezer said that God uttered one 
word and the heavens were created to become the dwelling- 
place of the throne of the glory of His kingdom, as it is 
said, * By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,' but 
for the numerous host of heaven God exerted Himself more ; 
He blew with the breath of His mouth, and all the host of 
the heavens were created, as it is said, ' And with the 
breath of His mouth all their host.' (3) All the stars and 
planets and the two lights were created at the beginning of 
the fourth night. One did not precede the other except by 
one minute particle of time ; therefore, all the work of the 
sun is done slowly, while that of the moon is done quickly ; 
what the sun takes twelve days to do the moon can do in 
one day ; what the sun does during the whole year the 
moon does in thirty days, as it is explained in the chapters 

IV. 1] 11 

of E. Eliezer. (4) Three letters of the meffable name 
of God are written upon the heart of the sun, and angels 
lead it. Those that lead it in the day do not lead it in 
the night, and those that lead it in the night do not lead 
it in the day. The sun rises in a chariot, and rides forth 
crowned as a bridegroom, as it is said, ' And he goeth 
forth from his canopy as a bridegroom.' The horns (the 
rays) and the fiery face of the sun look upon the earth in the 
summer, they w^ould consume it with fire if the ice above 
would not temper the heat, as it is said, ' Nothing is hidden 
from his heat.' In the winter-time the sun turns his icy 
face to the earth, and were it not for the fire which warms 
the cold, the world would not be able to endure it, as it is 
said, ' Who can stand before his cold ?' (5) The sun rises 
in the east and sets opposite in the west. The Shekinah 
always resides in the west, and the sun enters in its 
presence, and, bowing down before the King of kings, 
says : ' Lord of the universe, I have fulfilled all Thy 
commands.' These are some of the ways of the sun. 
(6) The habitation of the moon is placed between the clouds 
and the thick darkness, which are like two dishes one 
above the other ; within them the moon travels. These 
two clouds turn themselves towards the west, and the moon 
peeps out from between the two in the form of a little horn. 
On the first night of the new month one part is visible, 
on the second night a second portion, and so on until the 
middle of the month, when it is full moon. From the 
middle of the month onwards these two clouds turn them- 
selves eastwards, and that part of the moon which appeared 
first is the first to be covered by the tw^o clouds — on the 
first night one part, on the second night a second part, 
until the end of the month, when it is entirely covered. 
Whence do we know that the moon is between two clouds ? 
Because it is said, ' The cloud is its clothing, and clouds 
of darkness its covering.' 

IV. (1) The following seven planets God created and 
placed in order in the firmament for the benefit of the 
world ; for by means of them people calculate the signs, 

12 [IV. 2 

seasons, and astronomical computations ; the time of 
summer, the number of the hours, days and months, periods 
and festivals (appointed times), as it is said, ' They shall be 
for signs, for seasons, for days and for years.' (2) The seven 
days of the week are called after the seven planets, the 
Sun, Venus, Mercury, the Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, and 
Mars. On the first day Sol, i.e. the sun, rules, and this day 
is called Zondakh. On the second day the moon serves ; it 
is called Luna, therefore the second day is called Lunedi, 
i.e., Mondakh. On the third day Mars serves ; it is called 
Mars, hence Marsdi, i.e., Diensdakh. On the fourth day 
Mercury, or Marcurios, serves, therefore it is called 
Markusdi, i.e., Godansdakh. On the fifth day Jupiter 
serves ; it is called lovis, hence lovisdi, i.e., Donnersdakh. 
On the sixth day Yenus, i.e., Veneri, serves, therefore the 
day is called Vindredi, that is Yredakh. On the seventh day 
Saturnus serves, therefore the day is called Sabbatdi, i.e., 
Satuldakh. (3) In what order are they placed in heaven ? 
They are distributed there as sun and moon and the five 
planets. The firmament is divided into seven degrees, one 
above the other. There are seven distinct places for these 
seven planets ; and this is their order : (4) The first degree is 
near the earth, and this lowest degree is the habitation of 
the moon, in which the moon makes a circuit round the 
firmament. The second degree is the habitation of 
Mercury, in which it describes its circuit in the firmament. 
The third degree is the habitation of Venus, in which it 
also describes its circuit in the firmament. The fourth 
degree is the middle of them, viz., the habitation of the 
sun, which completes its circuit of the heaven in twelve 
months. The fifth degree is the habitation of Mars, which 
makes its circuit in the firmament.^ The seventh degree 
is the highest of all, viz., the habitation of Saturn, which 
completes its circuit in three years. (5) This is the order 
of their work : Saturn is appointed over the poor and 
needy women, over faintness and sickness, diseases of the 
body, and over death. His appearance is like that of an 
1 The sixth degree is missins^ in the MS. 

IV. 10] 13 

old man with a sickle in his hand. (6) Mars is appointed 
over war (bloodshed) and the sword, over the wicked, over 
slander, over strife, battle, hatred, jealousy, quarrels, over 
warriors, wounds, injuries, bruises, over fire, water, and 
destruction. His appearance is like that of an armed 
w^arrior with a sword in his right hand, and he appears 
like a man of wrath and a stirrer up of strife. Wherever 
he turns wickedness ensues ; he looks terrible in his coat 
of mail, and with the spear which he bears in his left hand. 
(7) Jupiter is appointed over life, peace and good, over 
prosperity, tranquillity, joy, pleasant conversation, re- 
joicings, riches, greatness, sovereignty and majesty. His 
appearance is like that of a valiant and noble-looking man, 
and his head is that of a ram. (8) Venus is appointed 
over kindness, favour, love, lust, passion, desire, marriage, 
the birth of man and animals, the fruits of the earth and 
the fruits of the tree. Its form is that of a young girl 
beautifully adorned, and swaying a branch of a tree in her 
hand. Mercury is appointed over wisdom, discretion, 
understanding, knowledge, and the active intellect en- 
abling one to unravel mysteries, to devise plans in every 
branch of work, and in the writings of any language. 
Its form is that of an old man with thin lips ; he possesses 
wings, and the lower part of the body is like a dragon. 

(9) The sun is appointed over hght, to separate light from 
darkness, and through it to enable us to calculate the 
days, months and years, and to do every kind of work, 
to make any cunning work, to walk any distance, and 
to migrate from city to city and from town to town. 
The moon holds the key of heaven and earth, and is 
appointed over morning and evening. She is set over 
all creatures, to lead them in the right or wrong way, 
although she has no power in herself either to do good or 
evil. But everything is done by order and command. 
Everything was created by means of the word of God. 

(10) Hence the Rabbis have said that the orbit of the sun 
and the circuit of the moon, the order of the stars, the 
arrangement of the planets, the calculation of the circuits, 

14 [V. 1 

the lengths of the days and the division of the hours, 
which are at first long and then become gradually shorter, 
are all the work of God. 

V. On the fifth day He brought forth from the waters 
all manner of winged birds, male and female, all manner 
of locusts, and also the Leviathan, a serpent which holds 
all the dwellers of the lower waters between his two fins. 
The centre of the earth rests upon the huge serpents, which 
form food for the Leviathan. Every day he opens his 
mouth, and a huge serpent comes every day to feed him. 
It flies and flutters and enters the mouth of Leviathan, 
while God sports with it, as it is said, * Thou hast created 
this Leviathan to sport with it.' 

VI. (1) On the sixth day He brought forth from the 
earth all kinds of animals, male and female, and the 
Behemoth that lies on a thousand hills, from which it 
obtains its food every day. In the night-time the food 
grows again as if the hills had not been touched, as it is 
said, ' Its food is from the produce of the mountains, and 
it drinks from the waters of the Jordan ;' for the waters 
of the Jordan encompass all the land of Israel, one half of 
which is above, and the other of which is below the earth, 
as it is said, ' For He can draw up the Jordan in his mouth.' 
The Behemoth is preserved for the day on which it is to be 
brought as a sacrifice on the occasion of the great banquet 
of the righteous, as it is said, ' Its Maker will approach it 
with His sword.' (2) Everything in the world was origin- 
ally created before Adam, who was created last, on the sixth 
day, on the eve of Sabbath, lest people might say that God 
had a helper in the work of the creation. 

(3) When God wished to create the world He called the 
company of angels commanded by the archangel Michael, 
and said unto them : ' Let us make man in our image, 
according to our likeness.' Whereupon they replied : 
' What is man, that Thou shouldst remember him; and the 
son of man, that Thou shouldst think of him?' At this 
God immediately stretched forth His little finger among 
them and destroyed them, so that Michael alone was left. 

VI. 8] 15 

He then called the company of angels commanded by 
Gabriel, and said : ' Let us make man in our image.' 
They also replied : ' What is man, that Thou shouldst 
remember him?' God again stretched forth His finger 
and destroyed them. (4) He then called Boel and his 
company, and said to them : ' Let us make man in our 
own image.' At which Boel said to his associates : ' See 
what has happened to those who said. What is man 
that Thou shouldst remember him ? they were all de- 
stroyed. If we repeat what they have said. He will do 
the same to us, and in the end He will perform His will. 
It is therefore better that we comply with His wish.' They 
therefore immediately answered, and said : ' Lord of the 
world, it is w^ell that Thou hast thought to create man ; do 
Thou create him according to Thy will, and we shall act as 
attendants and servants upon him, and reveal unto him all 
our secrets.' (5) God then said to Boel : ' From this day 
henceforth thy name shall not be called Boel, but Raphael, 
because, through thy counsel, thou hast saved all thy host, 
so that they were not consumed like the other companies.' 
(6) God then called Gabriel, and said unto him : ' Go and 
bring Me dust from the four corners of the earth, and I 
will create man out of it.' Gabriel then went to gather 
dust from the earth, but the earth drove him away and 
would not allow him to take dust from it. Gabriel there- 
upon said : ' Why, earth, dost thou not hearken to the 
voice of thy Lord, who founded thee upon the w^aters 
without props and without pillars?' The earth replied, 
and said : ' I am destined to become a curse, and to be 
cursed through man, and if God Himself does not take the 
dust from me, no one else shall ever do so.' (7) When 
God saw this He stretched forth His hand, took of the 
dust, and created therewith the first man on the sixth da3^ 
God created the matter of man in four colours, white, 
black, red and green. The bones and the sinews are white, 
the intestines black, the blood red, and the skin of the body 
green (livid). When the soul departs from the body, the 
body immediately becomes livid. (8) The Torah (Law) then 

16 [VI. 9 

said to God, ' Lord of the universe, this man whom Thou 
hast created will be short-lived, and he will sin before Thee; 
what will become of him ?' God replied : ' Is it to no 
purpose that I am called slow to anger, of abundant mercy 
and truth? He who returns to Me in repentance, I will 
pardon.' The Torah said, ' If so, do Thy will. (9) But why 
did God create man from the four corners of the earth, and 
not from the dust of one single spot ?' ' Because man goeth 
to the four corners of the earth, and when he dies, the 
earth shall not be able to say. Thou wast not created 
from me, therefore thou shalt not be buried in me ; go to 
the place whence thou wast created, and there be buried. 
Thus, wherever a man ends his days, there shall he rest. 
God created man poor and from dust, and to dust shall he 
return ; therefore has the dust been taken from the four 
corners of the earth.' 

(10) There are twelve hours in the day; in the first 
hour He gathered the dust for man, in the second He 
hardened it, in the third He shaped it in the form of man, 
in the fourth the soul was thrust into it, in the fifth man 
stood on his legs, in the sixth he gave names to all the 
birds and animals, in the seventh Eve was joined to him, 
in the eighth they produced two children, in the ninth 
they were commanded concerning the fruits of the trees, 
in the tenth he transgressed the command, in the eleventh 
he was judged, in the twelfth hour he was driven out, as it 
is said, ' And He drove Adam out of the Garden of Eden.' 

(11) God kneaded and moulded the dust for the first man 
in a pure place. He covered him with skin and sinews, and 
gave to it a human shape, but there was not yet any breath 
or soul in it. What did God do ? He breathed with the 
breath of His mouth, and thrust the soul into him, as it is 
said, 'And He breathed in his nostrils the breath of life' 
Adam then stood up and gazed above and below, saw all 
the creatures which God had created, and was amazed 
with wonderment, and he began to extol and praise his 
Creator, and said: 'How great are Thy works, Lord!' 

(12) He stood upon his feet, and was in the likeness of 

VI. 15] 17 

God ; his height extended from the east to the west, as it 
is said, 'Behind and in front Thou hast formed me.' 
Behind, that is the west, and in front, that is the east. 
All the creatures saw him and were afraid of him ; they 
thought he was their creator, and prostrated themselves 
before him. Adam then said to the animals : ' Why do 
you come and prostrate yourselves before me ? Come, let 
us all go and invest Him who created us with majesty 
and strength, and crown Him King over us. If the people 
do not show allegiance to the King, the King claims it by 
Himself, and if the people do not praise the King, the King 
causes Himself to be praised.' As soon as Adam had spoken, 
all the creatures assented and invested their Creator with 
majesty and strength, and proclaimed Him King over them, 
and said : ' The Lord the King is clothed with majesty.' 

(13) Now, Adam walked about the Garden of Eden like 
one of the ministering angels. God said : ' Just as I am 
alone in My world, so is Adam ; just as I have no com- 
panion, neither has Adam. To-morrow the creatures will 
say, " He does not propagate, he is surely our creator." It 
is not good for man to be alone, I will make a helpmeet for 
him.' (14) When the earth heard the word 'helpmeet' it 
shook and trembled, and said to its Creator : ' Lord of the 
world, I am not able to provide for the whole of mankind.' 
To which God replied : ' I will feed the whole of mankind.' 
And God made a compact with the earth, and God created 
the sleep of life, so that when man lies down and goes to 
sleep, he is fed, strengthened and refreshed, and this is the 
healing and the feeding which God provides, as it is said, 
* Then I slept, then I felt refreshed.' God moreover assists 
the earth and waters it, so that it yields its fruits as food 
for all the creatures ; but, in spite of all this, man obtains 
his food in toil and trouble. 

(15) God had pity upon Adam ; in order not to give him 
pain He caused a deep sleep to fall upon him, during which 
time He took the bone of one of his ribs and flesh from his 
heart and made of it a helpmeet for him, and placed her 
before him. When he awoke from his sleep and saw 


18 [VI. 16 

her standing before him, he said : ' This is woman ; bone 
of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.' (16) While he was yet 
alone, he was called Adam. K. Joshua b. Qorha said that 
his name was Adam on account of the flesh and blood (of 
which he was composed). God said to him, ' Thou art 
Adam.' But when a helpmeet was made for him he was 
called Living Being — i.e., Fiery Being (Heb. t^*N*). God 
then added two letters of His name to it and made the 
name of man to be c*^N*, and the name of woman nci'j^, 
saying, ' If they walk in My ways and observe My Command- 
ments, behold My name will abide with them and deliver 
them from all trouble ; but if not, behold I will take away 
My name from them, so that their names will become 
again ^i^), i^i< ' — i.e., fire consuming fire. 

YII. (1) God created ten canopies for Adam in the 
Garden of Eden, and all of them w^ere made of precious 
stones, of pearls and of gold. Each bridegroom has as a 
rule but one canopy, a king has three, but in order to show 
great honour to the first man He made ten canopies for him 
in the Garden of Eden, as it is said, ' Thou hast been in 
Eden, the garden of God ; every precious stone was thy 
covering, the sardius, the topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, 
the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and 
the carbuncle, and gold ; the workmanship of thy tabrets 
and of thy pipes (was prepared) for thee on the day when 
thou wast created.' These represent the ten canopies. 
The angels were beating their timbrels and dancing to the 
pipes, as it is said, * The w^orkmanship of thy tabrets and 
of thy pipes.' 

(2 ) On the day when the first man was created God said to 
the ministering angels, ' Come, let us descend and show 
kindness to man and his helper, for upon kindness the 
world rests.' He further said, ' Kindness is much more 
acceptable to Me than the sacrifices of burnt-ofi'erings 
which the Israelites are destined in the future to offer to 
Me upon the altar,' as it is said, ' Eor kindness do I desire 
and not sacrifices.' The ministering angels walked before 
Adam like shepherds who watch the flocks of birds, as it 

IX. 2] 19 

is said, * For He commanded His angels to watch over thee 
in all thy ways.' They were like unto a bridal pair, and 
God may be compared to a precentor, for just as the pre- 
centor in the midst of the congregation blesses the bridal 
pair under the canopy, so did God bless man and his 
helpmeet, as it is said, 'And God blessed them, and said 
unto them, Be fruitful and multiply.' And they did so, as 
it is said, ' And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived 
and bore him Cain, and said, I have begotten a man of the 
Lord.' Why was Cain thus called ? Because he was 
formed from Adam and his wife and from God. 

I will now add here the description of the formation of a 
child by these three agencies, as it is contained in the 
book called n^Tin ni^^"' (Yesirath ha-velad), which is as 
follows : 

The Formation of the Child. 

IX. (1) I will now proceed to explain the formation of the 
foetus which God created when man approaches his wife. 
God indicates it to the angel appointed over conception, 
whose name is Lailah. God says, ' Know that this night a 
woman will conceive. Take this sperm, place it in thy 
hand, and break it on the threshing-floor into three 
hundred and sixty-live particles.' He does so. He then 
takes the sperm in his hand, brings it to God, and says, 
' Lord of the world, I have done as Thou hast com- 
manded me, and now decree what is to become of it.' God 
then decrees that it will be either strong or weak, male or 
female, rich or poor, beautiful or ugly, long or short, 
wicked or righteous. (2) God then makes a sign to the 
angel appointed over spirits, and says, ' Bring me a certain 
spirit which is hidden in the Garden of Eden, whose name 
is So-and-so, and whose form is So-and-so.' This applies 
to all the spirits which are destined to be created, for from 
the very moment when the world was created all (these 
spirits) were prepared for men, as it is said, ' What has 


20 [IX. 3 

already been has been called by name.' The angel brmgs 
the (said) spirit, which, when it comes before God, bows 
down and prostrates itself before Him. (3) At that 
moment God says to the spirit, ' Enter thou this sperm.' 
The spirit then opens its mouth, and says, ' Lord of the 
universe, I am satisfied with the world in which I have 
lived from the day on which Thou didst create me ; if it 
please Thee, do not suffer me to enter this impure being, for 
I am holy and pure.' God replies, ' The world which I will 
cause thee to enter is better than the world in which thou 
hast lived ; and when I created thee, I created thee only for 
this purpose.' (4) God then causes it to enter this new 
being against its will. The angel then returns and causes 
it to enter the womb of its mother. Two angels are prepared 
to watch the embryo (during pregnancy). A light shines 
upon the head of the child, by which it sees from one end of 
the world to the other. (5) In the morning the angel takes 
it, carries it into the Garden of Eden and shows it the 
righteous men who sit there in glory with crowns on their 
heads. The angel then says to the soul, ' My child, dost 
thou know who these are ?' ' No,' it replies. The angel then 
says, * These people whom thou seest here were formed like 
thee in the womb of their mother. They went forth into 
the world and observed God's statutes, therefore they 
became worthy of this bliss. Know also that thou wilt at 
the end of thy days depart from the world, and if thou 
wilt be thought worthy to hearken unto the Law and the 
Commandments then thou wilt be likewise worthy of sitting 
with these in the place where I showed thee.' 

(6) In the evening he carries it into Gehinnom, and shows 
it the sinners, whom the wicked angels beat with fiery 
staves. They cry ' Woe, woe !' but no mercy is shown them. 
The angel then says to the soul, ' Dost thou know, my child, 
who these are that burn ?' ' No,' it replies. The angel 
answers, ' These were of the same mean origin as thou art. 
They went forth to the world and did not observe the 
commandments and judgments of God. Therefore they 
have come to this place of punishment. Know also, child, 

IX. 9] 21 

that thou must ultimately quit this world.' (7) The angel 
walks about with it from morning until evening, and shows 
it every place which it is destined to tread, and the place 
where it will be buried. After this he shows it the world 
of the good and the world of the wicked, and in the 
evening he places it back again in the womb of its mother. 
God then encloses it within folded doors, as it is said, ' And 
He shut in the sea with doors, until it burst forth from the 
womb and became free.' It is further said, ' I will lay My 
words in thy mouth, and I will protect thee in the shadow 
of My hand.' God then said, ' Thus far shalt thou go, and 
no further ;' and He sustains the child in the womb of its 
mother for nine months. 

(8) At the end of that time the same angel comes and says 
to it, ' Come forth, for the time has come for thee to go forth 
into the world.' It replies, ' Have I not already told God 
that I am satisfied to remain in the place where I was 
accustomed to dwell? And He replied, "The place I will 
cause thee to enter is better than that world from which thou 
hast come." Now that it pleases me to remain here, why 
dost thou wish to remove me hence ?' The angel replies, 
' Thou must know that thou wast formed in the womb of 
thy mother against thy will, and now know that against thy 
will thou wilt be born, and wilt come forth into the world.' 
He then immediately strikes it, extinguishes the light, and 
brings it forth against its will. It then forgets whatever it 
had seen. As soon as it comes forth unto the world, it cries. 

(9) And why does it cry ? Because of the world it has left 
behind. For at that moment seven new worlds are await- 
ing it. In the first world it is like unto a king after whose 
welfare all people ask ; all desire to see it and embrace it, 
and kiss it, because it is in the first year. In the second 
world it is like unto a swine which wallows in mire ; a 
child does the same until it reaches two years. In the 
third world it is like unto a kid that skips and gambols 
about on the meadows. Thus, a child skips about here 
and there until it is five years of age. In the fourth 
world it is like unto a horse which strides along haughtily. 

22 [IX. 9 

In the same way does a child walk along proud of his 
youth until he is eighteen years old. In the fifth world 
he is like unto an ass upon whose shoulders burdens are 
placed. In the same manner burdens are heaped upon 
man's shoulders ; he is given a wife by whom he begets 
children. He must wander to and fro in order to obtain 
food for them until he is about forty years old. In the 
sixth stage he is like unto a dog, insolent and wandering 
about in all places for food : stealing and robbing in one 
place and enjoying it in another. In the seventh stage 
he is like unto an ape, whose appearance is changed in 
every respect. All the household curse him and desire 
his death. Even the young children make fun of him, 
and even the smallest bird wakes him from his sleep. 
(10) Finally, the time arrives for him to quit this world. 
When that time arrives the same angel comes beside him 
and says to him. What is thy name ?' To which he replies 
* So-and-so, and Why dost thou come to me to-day ?' ' To 
take thee away from this world.' When he hears this he 
weeps, and his voice reaches from one end of the world to 
the other, but no creature hears his voice except the cock. 
' Have I not already told thee,' he says, ' not to bring me 
forth from the world in which I have lived ?' But the 
angel replies, ' Have I not already told thee that against 
thy will thou wast created, against thy will thou wast born, 
against thy will thou livest, and against thy will thou shalt 
die, also against thy will thou art bound to render account 
and reckoning before Him who said, and the world was 
made ?' 

(11) Behold, these are the four Divine hosts which God 
showed to Elijah the prophet, as it is said, ' And He said, 
Go out and stand upon the mountain before God.' God 
then said to Elijah, ' Behold, these are the four worlds 
through which man must pass. The great and strong 
wind is this world. After the wind comes the earthquake, 
i.e., after this world comes death, which causes the whole 
body of man to quake. After the earthquake comes the fire, 
i.e., after death there follows the judgment of Gehinnom, 

X. 4] 23 

which is fire, and after the judgment of Gehinnom there 
follows a voice, as it is said, ' A still, soft voice,' which is 
the voice of the last judgment. After this follows the 
judgment of the spirits that flit about in the air, and no 
one is left except God, as it is said, ' God alone shall be 
exalted on that day.' All this is included in the words of 
holy tradition spoken by David, King of Israel, who said, 
' I was made in secret, I was formed in the nethermost 
parts of the earth.' 

X. (1) The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. 
Happy is the man in wiiom there is wisdom combined 
with fear; one may be doing more, another less, pro- 
vided that his heart is turned to heaven. (2) AVoe to 
him whom this world leads astray; woe unto him who 
does not walk in the ways of God ; woe unto him who 
hearkens to his evil inclination, or who does not listen to 
his Creator ; woe to him w^hose pleader becomes his 
accuser ; woe unto him who does not devote his heart to 
his Father in heaven ; woe to him whose wheel of life has 
turned ; woe unto the man who has been righteous and haS' 
turned wicked ; woe to him who loses his life's work in a> 
rash moment, or causes the profanation of God's name. 

(3) Certain punishments follow immediately upon the 
committal of sin, others come after a time. There are 
punishments which come one after the other, others 
simultaneously. Some punishments come upon man while 
he is asleep, others while he is awake ; some come upon 
him heavily, others lightly ; some affect part of the body, 
others the whole body ; some, again, come upon one in his 
youth, while others come in his old age ; some which he 
anticipates, others which he does not anticipate ; some are 
open and some are hidden, others, again, are revealed to 
the whole world. And all the trouble, misery, and shame 
come upon man in consequence of sin and transgression. 
(4) Some bear their punishments with love ; some worship 
God for fear of suffering in their sustenance or in their 
livelihood, or through the ill-health of their children, or 
through the punishment of Gehinnom. Some worship Him 

24 [X. 4 

in simplicity, in purity, in joy, and some in the hope that 
they may make others worthy of reward. Some, again, 
worship Him to guard themselves against punishments, 
as it is said, ' When they are in trouble, they seek 
Me early.' Everyone is judged while he is in full con- 
sciousness, and this applies to the living and the dead 

(5) When man is about to quit this world the angel 
appointed over him says, ' Pity this body that goes out of 
this world without having performed any good actions.' He 
looks at his two legs, and says, ' Woe unto those legs which 
have not walked in the ways of the Lord. Woe unto those 
thighs which have not been eager to run after God's 
Commandments. Woe unto the bowels which have enjoyed 
stolen property. Woe unto those hands which have 
occupied themselves with sin. Woe unto the mouth which 
has consumed the property of others. Woe unto the eyes 
which have desired the property of strangers. AVoe unto 
those ears which have not hearkened to reproof. Woe to 
that proud stature that has not bent in repentance. Woe 
unto the spirit that has not humbled itself before its 
Creator.' (6) The angel in anger bids him stand up for 
judgment to relate his deeds. He says, 'Know whence thou 
hast come, and whither thou art going — to a place of 
dust and worms. Who is the Judge, and before whom art 
thou to give account and reckoning ? If thou art able to 
answer, then answer, for no one else can answer for thee ; 
there is no remedy except good deeds, as it is written, " Thy 
righteousness shall go before thee." ' (7) What enjoyment 
can it be for man to look upon sin, since it is like fire to 
stubble, and like a sword to the neck, as an arrow to 
the liver, as chains to the feet, as darkness to the eyes, as 
gall to the mouth, and as chastisement to the body ? 
Whoever induces another to swerve from the good path is 
cut off in the midst of his days, and whoever flatters a 
sinner, his days shall be shortened in this world. Whoever 
scoffs at the Commandments will have no mercy shown to 
him from heaven. (8) Whoever causes another to blush in 

X. 10] 25 

public will cause the book in which the sins of man are 
inscribed to be opened. Whoever scoffs at the poverty of 
the poor, behold he shall be brought low^, he will be 
ahungered while others shall eat before him. Whoever 
commits fraudulent transactions shall have no rest on the 
eve of the Sabbath ; behold, all the joys which gladden his 
heart will be turned into mourning. He will be visited 
on the day of reckoning with terrible judgment and with 
much shame by relentless angels in the w^orld to come. 
Therefore it is said, ' And what wilt thou do on the day of 
visitation ?' (9) He who sins with his eyes, those eyes shall 
become dim ; he who sins with his mouth, behold his words 
shall not be heard ; he who sins by giving false advice, 
behold his own prosperity shall vanish ; he who sins in his 
thoughts, his days shall be a constant vexation ; he who 
sins with his tongue, behold chastisement will overtake 
him ; he who sins with his hand shall lose his honour ; he 
who sins with his legs, the years of his life shall be 
shortened ; whoever sins in his heart shall die of grief ; 
whoever sins with his inclination, this very inclination shall 
turn his accuser ; he who sins and causes others to sin 
shall bury his wife and his children during his lifetime ; he 
who sins purposely, the decree of Divine judgment wdll be 
sealed against him ; he who sins unwittingly is not in a 
good moral condition. 

(10) What benefit has a man by sinning? his ultimate 
end is to quit this world for another, to go from light to 
darkness, from life to death, from sleep which is sweet to a 
sleep that is troubled ; he is a prey for the w^orms ; he passes 
from sweet dainties to the taste of dust ; from beautiful 
garments to the shroud in the grave. But this is not all : 
he moreover loses his soul. Many rich men have lost their 
souls through their riches, such as Dathan and Abiram; 
and the wisdom of many a wise man has caused him to come 
to grief, as, for instance, Ahitophel, Doeg the Edomite, and 
Balaam, the wicked one. Likewise many mighty men have 
existed whose power has been the cause of their fall, as 
Samson, Abner, Asael, and Joab. Many also have reared 

26 [X. 10 

sons, but have had no joy from them, as Aaron, the High 
Priest, who had no joy from Nadab and Abihu. All this 
applies equally to the righteous as well as the wicked ; death 
overtakes them all. There were also many beautiful ones, 
whose beauty was the cause of their downfall, such as 
Absalom and Adonijah ben Hagith. There have been many 
elders of the community who have departed this life 
without honour, such as the great Sanhedrin in the time of 
Zedekiah, who were slain by Nebuchadnezzar. And again, 
how many young people have been snatched away from their 
bridal canopy ! (11) Thus, what advantage can possibly 
accrue to man by robbing and stealing ? for, although he 
may thereby derive some temporal comfort, he must never- 
theless render account and reckoning before God. What 
benefit can man's joy be to him when it brings sorrow and 
grief upon him ? What benefit is it for a man to inspire 
fear, since punishment will overtake him ? What benefit 
his proud strut if it brings pains upon him ? What benefit 
his evil meditation, which brings in its train many kinds of 
death ? What benefit his deception, which dashes his 
prosperity to the ground ? On account of this the righteous 
and the pious have no desire whatever for this world which 
is fleeting. But how do we know that this world is fleeting ? 
Because it is said, ' For a wind has passed over it, and it is 
no more.' 

(12) On the other hand, he is heir to the future world 
who keeps aloof from strife, from evil talk, from cause- 
less hatred, from inciting quarrels, who is truly modest, 
who is devout in his prayer, and confesses his sins before 
God. He it is who is loved by God. Therefore the 
righteous have resolved to claim no honours, and to refrain 
from pleasure. They have therefore placed a check upon 
their eyes, their mouths, their hands, and their feet, to 
prevent them from doing evil. The eye which does not 
sin is worthy to behold the face of the Divine glory, as it 
is said, ' Thine eyes shall behold the King in his beauty.' 
The heart that does not sin shall be worthy to see the 
Divine glory with abundant joy. The hand that does not 

XI. 4] 27 

sin will be worthy of receiving every reward, as it is said, 
' Behold the Lord God shall come with strength, and give 
him mastery in his arm.' The mouth that does not sin 
will be worthy of singing praises before God, as it is 
written, ' And thou shalt say. On that day I will praise 
Thee, God.' 

XI. (1) K. Abahu told the parable of three different 
men. One tills the ground, another works in silver and 
gold, and the third studies the law. When the time 
approaches for him who tills the ground to die, he says to 
his household, ' Give me some of my work, so that I do 
not go to the next world empty-handed.' To which they 
reply, ' Thou art foohsh. Hast thou not worked the field? 
and Scripture has already said, " The earth and its fulness 
belong to God," therefore thou hast nothing of thine own 
to bring.' 

(2) When the end of him who works in silver and gold 
arrives, he says to his household, ' Give me some of my 
labour (work), that I may not go to the next world empty- 
handed.' But they reply, ' Thou art fooHsh. Thou hast 
worked in this world in silver and gold. Scripture has 
already said, " Mine is the silver, and Mine is the gold, saith 
the Lord ;" therefore thou hast nothing of thine own to bring.' 

(3) When the time arrives for him who studies the law 
(Torah) to quit this world, he says to his household, ' Give 
me of my labour, that I may not go to the next world 
empty-handed.' To him they say, '0 thou pious and 
righteous man, how can we give thee (the fruits) of thy 
labour ? Hast thou not constantly occupied thyself with the 
law? But God will grant thee the reward of thy work, and 
shall receive thee with good grace. The ministering angels 
shall go forth to meet thee and exclaim, " Come thou in 
peace ;" and concerning thee Scripture says, " Then shall 
thy light break forth as the morning." ' 

(4) Kabbi Jose says, ' If thou desirest to know the reward 
of the righteous in the world to come, come hither and 
learn it from what has befallen Adam. He was commanded 
to perform an easy precept, and because he transgressed it. 

28 [XI. 5 

God punished him and all subsequent generations with 
many kinds of death. Therefore the sages have said that, 
on the contrary, whoever studies and observes the law 
and performs good deeds shall be delivered from the 
punishment of Gehinnom and the sorrows of the grave.' 
E. Abahu mentions one of the proverbial sayings of Eabbi 
Isaac that the end of man is death, the end of animals 
is slaughter, and all are destined to die. (5) E. Jose 
says, ' Come hither and see the difference existing between 
man and animals ; the latter are slain and flayed, and 
are not subjected to any judgment : whilst with refer- 
ence to man, how many chastisements and troubles does 
he bear in this world; and after his death, if he is a 
righteous man, his judgment is delayed ; but if he is wicked, 
he is brought before the tribunal every year between 
Passover and Pentecost, as it is said, "And they shall go 
forth and look upon the carcases of the men, and it shall 
be at every new moon." (6) After man's death he is seen 
by all the other dead, and he appears to each just as they 
last saw him alive : some see him as a youth, others as an 
old man, just as each saw him before his own death, so that 
they should not think that any man lives for ever, and say 
when we were among the living we saw this or that man, 
and now how many hundreds of years have passed since we 
have seen them alive ? (7) Therefore, when one dies the 
angel who guards the dead makes his soul assume various 
forms, so that all shall recognise him by seeing him just as 
they saw him in life. Then, in the event of one being con- 
demned afterwards to Gehinnom, he is enveloped with 
smoke and brimstone, so that one should not see the 
punishment of the other ; and none should be put to shame 
before the other, except those who have publicly put others 
to shame.' 

(8) Every man after death is brought to judgment, even 
if he should belong to the section of the righteous, stilL 
after a time his sins are visited. Thus Samuel said to 
Saul, ' To-morrow thou shalt be in my division.' Was 
not Samuel in Eamah, and Saul in another place ? The 

XII. 6] 29 

explanation is that he (Samuel) referred to the soul when 
he said, ' Thou wilt be with me in my division.' And we 
see that after a long lapse of time the house of Saul was 
judged on account of Saul and on account of the house of 
blood. Thus, the house of Saul was visited. Although he 
was called ' the chosen of the Lord,' yet His seed was 

XII. (1) E. Isaac ben Parnach has said that all man's 
iniquities are engraved upon his bones, as it is said, ' Their 
iniquities shall be upon their bones,' and all his merits 
shall be engraved upon his right hand, as it is said, ' The 
Lord is thy guard and thy protection on thy right hand.' 

(2) E. Joshua ben Levi says that man's merits and sins 
are not testified to until the day of his death. Even 
frivolous conversation, which is not accounted as a sin, is 
mentioned only at the time of his death, as it is said, ' For 
behold He who has formed the mountains and created 
the wind will tell man what his conversation hath been.' 

(3) Thus at his death three ministering angels come to 
him, one the angel of death, one a scribe, and a third who 
is appointed to accompany them. They say to him, ' Arise, 
for thy end has come.' To which he replies, ' I shall not 
rise, for my end has not yet arrived.' (4) Then the scribe 
proceeds to number his days and years. At that moment 
the man opens his eyes and sees the angel of death, 
whose length extends from one end of the world to the 
other ; he quakes exceedingly and falls upon his face. (5) 
From the sole of his (the angel's) foot to the croAvn of his 
head he is full of eyes, his clothing is of fire, his covering 
of fire, he is surrounded by fire, he is all fire. In his hand 
he carries a fiery blade, from which hangs a bitter drop. 
This drop causes first death, then decomposition and the 
lividness of appearance, but man does not die until he has 
seen God, as it is said, ' For no man shall see Me and live ;' 
but when he dies he shall see Him, as it is said, ' Before 
Him there shall bend all those who go down to the dust 
when he ceases to live.' (6) Then the man confesses every- 
thing he has done in the world. His mouth bears witness. 

30 [XII. 7 

and the Lord writes it down. * By Myself have I sworn, 
saith the Lord, that from My mouth shall go forth 
righteousness.' (7) If he is a man of perfect righteousness 
his soul is handed over to its owner. But if a man of 
consummate wickedness, he stiffens his neck and allows his 
evil inclination to prevail over him ; hence the sages have 
said that a wicked man's evil inclination prevails over him 
even at his death. (8) E. Eliezer has said that just as he 
is stiffnecked in this world so is he at the Day of Judgment, 
as it is said, ' The wicked shall see and be angry.' (9) At 
the death of the righteous man three companies of 
ministering angels come to him. The first company says, 
'A righteous man has perished from the earth.' The 
second company says, * Let him in peace come and rest 
upon their couches.' The third company says, * He goeth 
the straight path.' (10) But at the death of the wicked 
five angels of destruction come to him and say, ' The 
wicked shall return to SheoL' 

The Beating of the Grave. 

XIII. (1) K. Eliezer's pupils asked him, 'What judgment 
is there in the grave ?' He replied, ' When a man quits 
Ijhis world, the angel of death comes to him and sits by his 
grave, and beating it with his hands, says, " Tell me thy 
name." "Flesh and blood is my name. It is revealed 
and known to Him who said, and the world was. But I do 
not know what my name is." Then immediately the soul 
re-enters his body. He stands up and is brought to judg- 
ment.' (2) Pi. Joshua ben Levi says, ' They bring a chain 
of iron, half of it burning like fire, half as cold as ice, and 
they beat him with it. At the first stroke his limbs get 
separated ; at the second, his bones are scattered. Then 
the ministering angels gather them together, and re- 
storing him, beat him a third time, and demand of him an 
account and reckoning, and judge him measure for measure. 

(3) On the second day they judge him in the same manner. 

(4) On the third day they judge him further, and they 

XIII. 6] 31 

punish his two eyes, his two hands, his two feet and his 
two ears, his mouth and his tongue. Why are his eyes 
punished ? Because he looked with them upon transgres- 
sion. Why his ears ? Because he heard sinful utterances 
with them. Why his lips ? Because he uttered with them 
words of foolishness. And why his tongue ? Because he 
has testified falsely with it. Why his two hands ? He 
committed violence and robbery with them. Why his two 
legs ? Because he hastened with them to transgression.' 
E. Jehudah says, ' Whoever has gone to a married woman 
shall hang ignominiously in Gehinnom ; and whoever 
slanders his neighbour shall be suspended by his tongue. 
(5) E. Meir, in the name of E. Joshua, says, ' The judgment 
in the grave is more severe than that in Gehinnom, for in 
Gehinnom only they are judged who are thirteen years 
old and upwards ; but in the grave, stillborn children and 
perfectly righteous men, and even sucklings, are brought 
to judgment.' Hence the sages have said, ' He who 
dwells in the land of Israel and dies on Sabbath eve at 
the time of the blowing of the Shofar, as long as the sun 
shines he shall not see the judgment in the grave ; whilst 
he who loves righteousness and chastisement, charitable 
deeds and hospitality to strangers, although not living in 
the land of Israel, shall see neither the judgment of the 
grave nor that in Gehinnom, as it is said, " From the midst 
of trouble I called to God, and He answered me." " From 
my trouble " refers to the beating in the grave. " From the 
depth of Sheol I cried." This refers to the punishment in 
Gehinnom.' (6) Ben Azay says, ' There are three kinds 
of punishments, one more severe than the other; more- 
over, they are all inflicted in the presence of God.' 'But,' 
asks E. Aqiba, ' are they all in God's presence ?' ' Verily 
the angels inflict the punishment in the grave and also that 
in Gehinnom, but only the punishment of heaven alone is 
inflicted in the presence of God !' Three days are given 
over to the punishment in the grave, three days to that in 
Gehinnom, and three days to the punishment in heaven. 
If there is no charge against a man, he is not brought up 

32 [XIII. 7 

for judgment ; but if there are charges against him, the 
judgment may last long. (7) The punishment of trans- 
gressing Israelites is twelve months in Gehinnom, as it is 
said, ' And it shall come to pass at the renewal of the new 
moon and at the renewal of the Sabbath.' Just as the 
weeks form a cycle, so the months form an annual cycle, 
and then shall all flesh prostrate themselves before God. 
E. Johanan ben Nuri says, ' The time extends from Passover 
until Pentecost, as it is said, " And from one festival to 
the other," during which the sabbaths are counted.' 
Some sinners are judged in Gehinnom from Passover until 
Pentecost, after which time they are acquitted ; others, 
again, such as the consummately wicked of Israel, obtain 
no rest for the whole twelve months ; (8) while others who 
have violated the whole of the law and the precepts and 
have sinned against the law of God, going the idolatrous 
way of the nations, shall have their bodies and souls burnt. 
Gehinnom vomits them out, and the north wind scatters 
them, so that they become ashes under the soles of the 
feet of the righteous, as it is said, ' And on account of 
the doings of the wicked, behold they shall become ashes 
beneath your feet on the day when I execute judgment.' 
(9) Further, those who leave the community, the apostates, 
traitors, renegades, scoffers, those who despise the festivals, 
deny the resurrection of the dead and the divinity of the 
law, are swallowed up by Gehinnom ; the doors are locked 
upon them, and there they are left a prey to eternal 
punishment, as it is said, ' And they go forth and look 
upon the carcasses of those that have transgressed against 
Me, for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be 

This is the Description of Gehinnom (Hell). 

XIV. (1) Who can stand before its might, who can with- 
stand the fury of its wrath ? E. Abahu opened his homily 
with the verse : ' Aluqah has two daughters called Hab, 
Hab.' E. Eliezer says that these are the two bands of 

XIV. 7] 33 

angels that stand at the gates of Gehinnom and say, ' Come ! 
come !' Why is it called Gehinnom (Valley of Wailing) ? 
Because the voice of its wailing traverses the world from 
one end to the other. And why is it called ' Tofteh ' 
(Enticer) ? Because all enter therein enticed by their evil 

(2) E. Johanan began his homily with the verse, ' Passing 
through the valley of weeping, they make it a valley of 
springs.' This means to say that the sinner confesses, just 
as the leper confesses ; and he says : ' I have committed 
such and such a transgression in that place, on that day, 
in the presence of So-and-so, in that society.' 

(3) Hell has three gates : one at the sea, the other in the 
wilderness, and the third in the inhabited part of the world. 
That at the sea is alluded to in Jonah : ' Out of the belly 
of Sheol cried I, and thou heardest my voice.' That of the 
wilderness is alluded to in Numbers : * So they and all that 
appertained to them went down alive unto Sheol.' And 
that in the inhabited portion of the world in Isaiah : 
' Saith the Lord, whose fire is in Zion and His furnace in 

(4) Five different kinds of fires are in hell : one devours 
and absorbs, another absorbs and does not devour, while 
another, again, neither devours nor absorbs. There is 
further fire devouring fire. (5) There are coals big as 
mountains, and coals big as hills, and coals huge like unto 
the Dead Sea, and coals like huge stones. There are rivers 
of pitch and sulphur flowing and fuming and seething. 

(6) The punishment of the sinner is thus : The angels of 
destruction throw him to the flame of hell ; this opens its 
mouth wide and swallows him, as it is said, ' Therefore 
Sheol hath enlarged her desire and opened her mouth 
without measure, and their glory and their multitude and 
their pomp, and he that rejoices among them, descends into 
it.' This all happens to him who has not done one single 
pious act which would incline the balance towards mercy ; 
(7) whilst that man who possesses many virtues and good 
actions and learning, and who has suffered much, he is 


34 [XIV. 8 

saved from hell, as it is said, ' Yea, though I walk through 
the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for 
Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff shall comfort 
me.' 'Thy rod' means the suffering, and 'Thy staff' 
signifies the law. 

(8) E. Johanan began : ' The eyes of the wicked shall fail, 
and refuge is perished from them, and their hope shall be 
the giving up of the ghost.' That means, a body which is 
never destroyed, and whose soul enters a fire which is never 
extinguished ; of these speaks also the verse, ' For their 
worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched.' 

XV. (1) E. Joshua, son of Levi, said, ' Once upon a time 
I was walking on my way, when I met the prophet Elijah. 
He said to me, " Would you like to be brought to the gate of 
hell ?" I answered, " Yes !" So he showed me men hanging 
by their hair ; and he said to me, " These were the men that 
let their hair grow to adorn themselves for sin." Others were 
hanging by their eyes ; these were they that followed their 
eyes to sin, and did not set God before them. Others 
were hanging by their noses; these were they that per- 
fumed themselves to sin. Others were hanging by their 
tongues ; these were they that had slandered. Others were 
hanging by their hands ; these were they that had stolen 
and robbed. Others were hanging ignominiously ; these 
were they that had committed adultery. Others were 
hanging by their feet ; these were they that had run to sin. 
He showed me women hanging by their breasts ; these 
were they that uncovered their breasts before men, to make 
them sin. (2) He showed me further men that were fed on 
fiery coals ; these were they who had blasphemed. Others 
w^ere forced to eat bitter gall ; these were they that ate on 
fast-days. (3) He showed me further men eating fine sand ; 
they are forced to eat it, and their teeth are broken ; and 
the Almighty says to them, " ye sinners ! when you used 
to eat that which you stole and robbed it was sweet in your 
mouth ; now you are not able to eat even this," as it 
is said, " Thou hast broken the teeth of the wicked " 
(4) He showed me further men who are thrown from fire to 

XV. 8] 35 

snow, and from snow to fire ; these were they that abused 
the poor who came to them for assistance ; therefore are 
they thus punished, as it is said, " Thou hast caused men 
to ride over our heads ; we went through fire and through 
water." He showed me others who were driven from 
mountain to mountain, as a shepherd leads the flock from 
one mountain to another. Of these speaks the verse : 
'' They are appointed as a flock for Sheol. Death shall be 
their shepherd, and the upright shall have the dominion 
over them in the morning, and their form shall be for 
Sheol to consume, that there be no habitation for it." ' 

(5) K. Johanan said. For every sin there is an angel ap- 
pointed to obtain the expiation thereof ; one comes first 
and obtains his expiation, then follows another, and so on 
until all the sins are expiated. As with a debtor who has 
many creditors, and who come before the king to claim 
their debts, and the king delivers him to them, and says, 
' Take him and divide him between yourselves,' so also is 
the soul delivered in hell to cruel angels, and they divide it 
among themselves. 

(6) Three descend to hell for ever, and do not ascend any 
more — the man who commits adultery, who blames his 
neighbour in public, and who is guilty of perjury. Others 
say, Those who seek honour for themselves by slandering 
their neighbours, and those who make intrigues between 
man and wife in order to create strife among them. 

(7) On the eve of the Sabbath the sinners are led to two 
mountains of snow, where they are left until the end of the 
Sabbath, when they are taken back from there and brought 
again to their former places. An angel comes and thrusts 
them back to their former place in hell. Some of them 
take, however, snow and hide it in their armpits to cool 
them during the six days of the week, but the Almighty 
says unto them, ' Woe unto you who steal even in hell,' 
as it is said, ' Draught and heat consume the snow waters, 
in Sheol they sin.' That means to say, ' They sin even in 

(8) Every twelvemonth the sinners are burned to ashes, 


36 [XVI. I 

and the wind disperses them and carries those ashes under 
the feet of the just, as it is said, ' And ye shall tread down 
the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the sole of your 
feet.' Afterwards, the soul is returned to them, and they 
come out black as the blackness of a pot, and they acknow- 
ledge the justice of their punishment, and say, ' Thou hast 
rightly sentenced us and rightly judged us. With Thee is 
righteousness and with us shame, as it is with us to-day.' 

XVI. (1) There are five kinds of punishment in hell, and 
Isaiah, the son of Amos, saw them all. He entered the first 
compartment and saw there two men carrying pails full of 
water on their shoulders, and they pour that water into a 
pit, which, however, never fills. Isaiah said to God, ' 
Thou who unveilest all that is hidden, unveil to me the 
secret of this.' And the Spirit of the Lord answered, 
' These are the men who coveted the property of their 
neighbours, and this is their punishment.' 

(2) He entered the second compartment, and he saw two 
men hanging by their tongues ; and he said, ' Thou who 
unveilest the hidden, reveal to me the secret of this.' He 
answered, ' These are the men who slandered, therefore 
they are thus punished.' 

(3) He entered the third compartment, and he saw there 
men hanging by their organs. He said, ' Thou who 
unveilest the hidden, reveal to me the secret of this.' 
And He answered, ' These are the men who neglected their 
own wives, and committed adultery with the daughters of 

(4) He entered the fourth compartment and saw there 
women hanging by their breasts, and he said, ' Thou 
who unveilest the hidden, reveal to me the secret of this.' 
And He answered, ' These are the women who uncovered 
their hair and rent their veil, and sat in the open market- 
place to suckle their children, in order to attract the gaze 
of men and to make them sin ; therefore they are punished 

(5) He entered the fifth compartment, and found it full 
of smoke. There were all the princes, chiefs, and great 

XVII. 1] 37 

men, and Pharaoh, the wicked, presides over them and 
watches at the gate of hell, and he saith unto them, ' Why 
did you not learn from me when I was in Egypt ?' Thus 
he sits there and watches at the gates of hell. 

(6) There are seven compartments in hell, and in each 
of them are 7,000 rooms, in each room 7,000 windows, in 
each window (recess) there are 7,000 vessels filled with 
venom, all destined for slanderous writers and iniquitous 
judges. It is to that that Solomon alludes when he says, 
' And thou mournest at thy latter end when thy flesh and 
thy body are consumed.' 

(7) The other nations, however, and the idolators are 
punished in the seven compartments of hell, in each com- 
partment for a twelvemonth. And the river ' Dinur ' 
floweth from beneath the throne of glory and falleth over 
the heads of the sinners, and the sound travels from one 
end of the world to the other.' 

(8) All these punishments are prepared for the apostates, 
for those who deny the resurrection of the dead, for the rene- 
gades, slanderers, and traitors. Of these King Solomon said, 
' Their end shall be as bitter as wormwood.' None of these 
are saved unless they repent, acquire learning, and perform 
pious deeds. But at the end the Almighty will have pity 
on all His creatures, as it is said, ' For I will not contend 
for ever, neither will I be always wroth, for the spirit shall 
pass before Me and the souls which I have made.' 

XVII. (1) There are besides in every compartment 7,000 
holes (crevices), and in every hole there are 7,000 scorpions. 
Every scorpion has 300 slits (cavities) ; in every slit are 7,000 
pouches of venom, and from each of these flow six rivers of 
deadly poison. When a man touches it, he immediately 
bursts, every limb is torn from him, his body is cleft asunder, 
and he falls dead upon his face. The angels of destruction 
collect his limbs, set them aright, and revive the man and 
place him upon his feet, and take their revenge upon him 
anew. This takes place in the uppermost compartment, 
which is called Sheol. The height thereof is 300 years' 
journey, the width 300 years' journey, and its length the 

38 [XVII. 2 

(2) The second compartment is Beer Shahat, of the same 
height, width, and length. The third is Tit-Hayaven, of 
equal size. The fourth is Shaare Mavet, of the same size. 
The fifth, Abadon, of the same size. The sixth, Shaare 
Salmavet, of the same size. The seventh, Gehinnom, of 
the same size. Thus the length of hell is altogether 6,300 
years' journey. [We read further that the fire of Gehinnom 
is one-sixtieth of the fire of Sha'are Salmavet, and so of 
every consecutive compartment till the fire of SheoL] 
Sheol consists half of fire and half of hail (ice), and when 
the sinners contained therein emerge from the fire they are 
tortured by the hail (ice), and when they emerge from the 
hail (ice) the fire burns them, and the angels who preside 
over them keep their souls within their bodies. As it is said, 
' For their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be 

(3) Every day the angel of death comes and drives them 
on like cattle from mountain to valley and from valley to 
mountain, as it is said, ' They are sent down to Sheol like 
sheep ; death acts like a shepherd unto them.' The angels 
of destruction punish the sinners for twelve months in 
Gehinnom. After twelve months they revive their bodies 
and lower them to Shaare Mavet, where they are again 
punished for twelve months. Thence they are lowered into 
Shaare Salmavet, and after twelve months' punishment 
the}^ are lowered into Tit-Hayaven, and again after twelve 
months' punishment they are lowered into Beer Shahat. 
Thence, after the same lapse of time, to Abadon, and finally, 
after twelve months' punishment, they are lowered thence 
into Sheol, where they are seen by the righteous, who say, 
' Lord, who art merciful to all Thy creatures, let it be 
enough for them!' But God answers, 'It is not yet 
enough, for they have destroyed My temple, and have sold 
My children as slaves among the nations.' Thence they are 
lowered to Arqa, and placed beneath the river of fire that 
flows from beneath the heavenly throne, and he who is 
lowered into Arqa ascends no more. 

(4) Above Arqa is Tehom, and above Tehom is Tohu. 

XVIII. 2] 39 

Above this is Bohu, and above Bohu is the sea, and above 
the bottom of the sea are the ^Yaters. Above the ^Yaters is 
the inhabited world, on the surface of which rise the moun- 
tains and dales. This earth is inhabited by man and beasts, 
by the birds of the air and the fish of the sea. Therein is 
law, charity, and piety, and the fear of the Lord. 

(5) At the time of judgment 6,000 angels of trembling 
surround man and lead him to the place of judgment, 
where they weigh his merit and his guilt in the balance. 
Then if his guilt turns the scale they lead him to Gehinnom 
and hand him over to the angels of terror, and these again 
to the angels of anguish, and these to the angels of trembling ; 
the angels of trembling then to the angels of destruction, 
who hand him over to the angel of death. He throws him 
into the depth of Gehinnom, as it is said, 'And the angel 
of the Lord pushes him.' 

(6) If, however, his merits turn the scale, they lead him 
to the gates of Paradise and hand him over to the minister- 
ing angels, who hand him over to the angels of peace, and 
these to the angels of mercy, who bestow great honour 
upon him in the Garden of Eden. 


XVIII. (1) Pi. Joshua, son of Levi, tells, ' Paradise has 
two gates of carbuncle, and sixty myriads of ministering 
angels keep watch over them. Each of these angels shines 
with the lustre of the heavens. When the just man 
approaches them they divest him of the clothes in which he 
had been buried, and clothe him with eight cloths, woven 
out of clouds of glory, and place upon his head two crowns, 
one of precious stones and pearls, and the other of gold, 
and they place eight myrtles in his hand and praise him, 
and say to him, " Go and eat thy bread with joy." And 
they lead him to a place full of rivers (waters) surrounded 
by 800 species of roses and myrtles. Each one has a 
canopy according to his merits, as it is said, " For over all 
the glory shall be spread a canopy." 

(2) ' And through it flow four rivers, one of oil, the other of 

40 [XVIII. 3 

balsam, the third of wine, and the fourth of honey. Every 
canopy is overgrown by a vine of gold, and thirty pearls 
hang down from it, each of them shining like the morning 
star. (3) In every canopy there is a table of precious stones 
and pearls, and sixty angels stand at the head of every 
just man, saying unto him, " Go and eat with joy of the 
honey, for thou hast worked assiduously in the law," of 
which it is said, " And it is sweeter than honey," " and drink 
of the wine preserved from the six days of Creation, for 
thou hast worked in the law which is compared with the 
wine," as it is said, " I would cause thee to drink of spiced 
wine." The least fair of them is as beautiful as Joseph 
and Johanan, and as the grains of the pomegranate lit 
up by the rays of the sun. There is no night, as it is 
said, " And the light of the righteous is as the shining 

(4) ' And they undergo four transformations according to 
the four watches of the day. In the first watch the just is 
changed into a child, and he enters the compartment of 
children and tastes the joys of childhood. In the second 
watch he is changed into a youth, and there he enjoys the 
delights of youth. In the third watch he becomes a middle- 
aged man and rejoices accordingly. In the fourth watch 
he is changed into an old man: he enters the compartment 
of the old and enjoys the pleasures of mature age. 

(5) ' In Paradise there are eighty myriads of trees in every 
corner ; the meanest among them choicer than a garden of 
spices. In every corner there are sixty myriads of angels 
singing with sweet voices, and the tree of life stands in the 
middle and overshadoweth the whole of Paradise ; and it 
has 500 tastes, each different from the others, and the per- 
fumes thereof vary likewise. (6) Over it hang seven clouds 
of glory, and the winds blow from all the four corners and 
waft its many odours from one end of the world to the 
other. Underneath sit the scholars and explain the law. 
These have each two canopies, one of stars and the other 
of sun and moon, and clouds of glory separate one from 
the other. Within this is the Eden containing 310 worlds, 

XIX. 3] 41 

as it is said, " That I may cause those that love Me to 
inherit Substance " (Prov. viii. 21) [the numerical value of 
the Hebrew word (l*'^) Substance is equivalent to 310] . 

(7) ' Here are the seven compartments of the just. In the 
first are the martyrs, as, for instance, E. 'Aqiba and his 
companions. In the second, those who were drowned. In 
the third, K. Johanan ben Zakkai and his disciples. The 
fourth group consists of those who were covered by the 
cloud of glory. The fifth group is that of the penitents, for 
the place occupied by a penitent not even a perfectly just 
man can occupy. The sixth group is that of children who 
have not yet tasted sin in their lives. The seventh group 
is that of the poor, who, notwithstanding their poverty, 
studied the law and the Talmud, and had followed a moral 
life. Of these speaks the verse, " For all that put their 
trust in Thee rejoice, and they shout for ever for joy.' 

(8) ' And God Almighty sitteth in their midst, and 
expounds to them the law, as it is said, " Mine eyes shall be 
upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with Me." 
And God hath not yet fully unveiled the glory which 
awaiteth the pious in the world to come, as it is said, " The 
eye hath not seen, God, beside Thee, that which Thou 
workest for him that waiteth for Him." ' 

XIX. (1) The sages tell that the dead have a large 
habitation, in front of which there flows a brook from the 
Garden of Eden, and by the side of this brook is a field. 
On every Sabbath eve between the afternoon and evening 
services the souls of the dead go forth from their secret 
abode and eat on this field and drink from this brook, (2) and 
every Israelite who drinks water between the afternoon 
and evening services of the Sabbath robs the dead. When 
the congregation on Sabbath eve exclaim, ' Bless the Lord, 
who is blessed,' they return to their graves, and God 
revives them, and causes them to stand upon their feet 
alive ; (3) and all the dead of Israel rest on the Sabbath, 
and all stand up alive from their graves, and great 
multitudes come before God and sing praises unto Him 
upon their graves, and going to the synagogues, prostrate 

42 [XIX. 4 

themselves before Him, as it is said, ' The pious exult in 
honour, and they sing upon their resting-places.' 

(4) Every Sabbath and every new moon they rise from 
their graves, and coming before the Divine Presence, 
prostrate themselves before Him, as it is said, ' And the 
people of the earth shall worship Me, on Sabbaths and on 
the new moons.' What is meant by the people of the 
earth ? Those who are hidden in the earth, as it is written, 
' And it shall come to pass that on each new moon and 
upon each Sabbath all flesh shall come to worship Me.' 

XX. (1) There are nine palaces in the Garden of Eden, 
*and all of them consist of well-built houses with upper 
chambers, and the length of the houses is sixty myriads of 
miles. Each one of them is presided over by sixty myriads 
of ministering angels, and in each of these houses there are 
well-arranged canopies made of species of rose and myrtle 
trees. Every pious man has his place allotted to him 
according to his deeds, and to their appointed places the 
ministering angels lead them. There the angels of mercy 
dance and sing praises before him, as it is mentioned above. 

(2) In the midst of the Garden of Eden there are sixty 
myriads of species of trees, the fruit of which the pupils of the 
sages eat. There the light of the righteous is as the light of 
the sun, and sixty myriads of ministering angels attend them 
and feed them, while sixty myriads of angels of mercy sing 
and dance before them, and they bring spiced wine and the 
juice of the pomegranates, which they drink with delight. 

(3) E. Joshua ben Levi said, ' I saw in the Garden of Eden 
ten companies and (well) built houses, each one of which 
was twelve myriads of miles in length, one hundred and 
ten myriads of miles in breadth, and one hundred myriads 
of miles in height. (4) The first house was opposite the 
first entrance of the Garden of Eden, wherein there dwelt 
those proselytes who had converted themselves (to the 
Jewish religion) from love. The beams thereof were of 
white glass, and the walls thereof of cedar-wood. When I 
went to measure it, all the proselytes stood up and tried to 
prevent me, when Obadiah immediately rose and said to 

XX. 9] 43 

them, " Happy would ye be if you should be deemed ^Yorthy 
to dwell with such a righteous man." They thereupon 
allowed me to measure it. (5) The second house, corre- 
sponding with the second gate, is built of silver and its walls 
of cedar ; therein do the penitent dwell, presided over by 
Manasseh. (6) The third house is built of gold and 
silver, wherein are to be found all the good things of 
heaven and earth, and wherein every kind of food and 
drink is arranged. In this house Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob dwell, as well as those who died in the wilderness — 
the generation of the wilderness, all the sons of Jacob, and 
the twelve tribes, with Moses and Aaron presiding over all 
of them. There also are David and Solomon and Caleb, 
who is alive, and every generation except those of Absalom 
and Korah. (7) I saw there precious stones, beds of gold 
and of precious stones, and couches and prepared lights. 
David exclaimed, " These are prepared for my children, who 
dwell in the world from which I have come." I then said 
to him, " Are not all the Israelites here ?" At this our 
ancestor Jacob interposed and said, " All Israel are my 
children, and they are not like the other nations of the 
world, nor are they like the children of Abraham, my 
(grand)father, nor like the children of Esau, my brother ; 
for whosoever of these performs good deeds in the world 
from which thou comest is rewarded there, and afterwards 
descends to Gehinnom ; but my children, even the wicked 
among them, though they are punished, it is only during 
their lifetime, but after death they inherit the Garden of 
Eden." (8j The fourth house is built corresponding to the 
first man (Adam) : its walls are of olive-wood, and those who 
dwell there are those who, though they have been punished 
in this world, have not rebelled against Providence. Why 
is this house built of olive-wood ? Because their life had 
been bitter to them as olive-wood. (9) The fifth house is 
built of onyx stones and of precious stones. Its walls are 
of gold, and of fine gold, and it is perfumed with balsam. 
Thence the river Gihon flows forth and illumines the 
upper world ; a fragrance breathes through it, which is 

44 [XX. 9 

more exquisite than the perfume of Lebanon. There 
are couches of gold and silver, covered with blue, purple, 
and vermilion covers woven together. In this place dwells 
the Messiah, the son of David and Elijah the Tishbite, 
and there is a palanquin of the wood of Lebanon, which 
Moses made in the wilderness [i.e., the Tabernacle], 
covered (overlaid) with silver. Its floor is of gold and 
its seat of purple, and in the midst of this palanquin 
sits the Messiah, the son of David, the beloved one 
of the daughters of Jerusalem. Elijah takes him by his 
head, and placing him in his bosom, holds him and says, 
"Bear the judgment, my master, for the end is near." 
(10) And every Monday and Thursday and every Sabbath 
and holy -day the patriarchs and the pious and the tribes, 
Moses and Aaron, David and Solomon, and all the kings of 
the house of David, come to him, and, weeping, take hold of 
him and say, " Oh, bear thou the judgment of thy Master, 
for the end is near." Korah and his company and Absalom 
come also to him every Thursday, and ask, " When is the 
end to come? When wilt thou return and bring us to 
life ?" To which he replies, " Go ye to your ancestors and 
ask them." They are then abashed, and do not go to ask 
them. When I came before the Messiah, the son of David, 
he asked and said, " What are my children doing in the 
captivity ?" And I answered, " Every day they await 
thee in their captivity among the nations of the world, 
which oppress them." He then lifted up his voice and 

XXI. (1) ' After this I implored him and said, " Do 
thou show me Gehinnom, which I desire to behold." But 
he would not allow me. And I said unto him, "Why 
wilt thou not let me see it ?" To which the Messiah 
answered and said, "It is not meet for the righteous to see 
it, for there are no righteous people in hell." (2) I then 
forthwith sent to the angel Qipud that he might measure 
hell from beginning to end ; but he was not able to do so, 
because at that time E. Ishmael, E. Shim'on, son of Gamliel, 
and ten other pious men were put to death. I tried, but 

XXI. 6] 45 

could not succeed. (3) After this, I went to the angel 
Qip5d, who went with me until I came before the fire at the 
gates of hell. The Messiah (also) went wdth me, and when 
the wicked in hell saw the light of the Messiah, they rejoiced 
and said, " This one will bring us forth from this fire." They 
showed me then a compartment in hell, which I entered, 
and, going round it, I measured it.' (4) R. Joshua said, 
' When I measured the first compartment of hell, I found 
it to be one mile in length and breadth, and behold, there 
were many open pits in which were lions, and the lions 
were of fire. There were also two brooks, and when the 
wicked people fall therein, they are swallowed up, and 
lions of fire standing above cast them into the fire. 
(5) When I measured the second, I found it as the first, 
and I asked the same questions as I asked about the first, 
and they made the same reply. There were in it some of 
the nations of the world, presided over by Absalom, and 
one nation says to the other, " If we have sinned, it is be- 
cause we did not wish to accept the law ; but you, wdiat sin 
have you committed?" And they reply, "We have com- 
mitted the same sin as you." And they say to Absalom, 
" If thou hast not listened, thy ancestors have done so. 
And why hast thou then been punished in such a manner?" 
" Because," he replied, " I did not listen to the exhorta- 
tions of my father." (6) An angel stands with a rod of 
fire, and this angel that smites them is named Qushiel. 
He orders the other angels to throw them down and to 
burn them, and one by one they are brought in, and after 
smiting them, they are cast upon the fire and burned 
until all the people have been consumed. After this, 
Absalom is brought in smitten, when a voice is heard 
to say, " Do not smite him nor burn him because he is one 
of the sons of those whom I love, who said on Mount Sinai, 
' We shall do, and w^e shall hear.' " After they have 
finished smiting and burning the wicked these emerge from 
the fire just as if they had not been burnt; they are then 
smitten again, and again thrust into the fire, and this is 
repeated seven times every day and three times every 

46 [XXI. 7 

night. But Absalom is saved from all this because he is 
one of the sons of David. (7) The third compartment 
contains seven nations of the world, who are judged in the 
same manner, and Korah and his company are with them. 
The name of him who smites them is Shabtil (b^ton::^). But 
Korah and his company are saved from all this, because 
they exclaimed on Mount Sinai, "We shall do, and we shall 
hear." (8) The fourth compartment contains four nations 
of the world, with Jeroboam to preside over them, and the 
one who smites them is named Maktiel. But Jeroboam is 
delivered from all these punishments, because he descended 
from those who exclaimed, "We shall do, and we shall 
hearken." (9) In the fifth house they are judged likewise. 
It contains seven nations, with Ahab among them, and he 
who smites them is named Hushiel. But Ahab is delivered 
from all this, because his ancestors said on Mount Sinai, 
" We shall do, and we shall hearken." (10) The sixth house, 
containing ten nations of the world, is judged likewise, and 
Micah is among them, and the angel who smites them is 
named Parhiel ('psms). But Micah is rescued from all this, 
because his ancestors also exclaimed on Mount Sinai, "We 
shall do, and we shall hear." (11) The seventh compartment 
contains six nations of the world, which are judged in the 
same manner, and among them is EHsha ben Abuya ; and so 
in all the compartments. But one cannot see the other on 
account of the darkness, for the darkness that existed 
before the creation of the world is now there.' 

XXII. (1) Before Adam gave the animals their names 
God brought them before the angels, and said to them, 
'Give names to everyone;' but they could not. God 
thereupon brought them before Adam, and he gave them the 
names by which they were ever afterwards known. Then 
God said to the angels, ' Were you not saying, "What is 
man, that Thou shouldst remember him " ? Now his wisdom 
is greater than yours!' The angels then began to envy 
him, saying, ' Indeed, God will now love him more than He 
does us ; if we can entice him to sin he will be destroyed 
from the earth. (2) Forthwith Samael, the angel of death, 

XXII. 5] 47 

descended and looked at every creature, but he could find 
none as cunning and malignant as the serpent. The 
serpent then went to Eve, and began to speak of various 
things, until he broached the tree. ' Is it true,' he said, 
' that God commanded you not to eat of any tree in the 
garden ?' ' No ; He only forbade us the one tree, which 
stands in the midst of the garden ; we are not allowed to 
eat of its fruit, nor touch it, for on the day that we touch 
it we shall die.' (3) The serpent laughed at her, saying, 
' It is only out of jealousy that God has said this, for He 
well knows that if you eat thereof your eyes will be opened, 
and you will know how to create the world just as He. 
Indeed, who can believe that for that thou shouldst die ? 
Forsooth, I shall go and pluck (gather) some fruit.' The 
serpent accordingly stood on his feet and shook the tree, so 
that some of the fruit fell upon the ground ; and the tree 
cried, '0 wicked one, do not touch me!' (4) When Eve 
saw the serpent touch the tree and not die, she said to herself, 
that the words of her husband were false. Therefore, on 
seeing that the fruit was beautiful, she desired it and ate of 
it. As soon as she had eaten thereof her teeth were set 
on edge, and she saw the angel of death with drawn sword 
standing before her. She then said in her heart, ' Woe 
unto me that I have eaten of this death, for now I will die ; 
and Adam, my husband, who has not eaten of it will live 
for ever, and God will couple him with another woman. It 
is better that we die together, for God has created us 
together even unto death.' So when her husband came she 
gave him some of the fruit to taste. (5) As soon as he had 
eaten thereof his teeth were set on edge, and he saw the angel 
of death standing before him with drawn sword. ' What is 
this evil food,' he said to Eve, 'which thou hast given me to 
eat? perchance thou hast given me to eat of the tree of which 
I was forbidden to eat.' He was then exceedingly grieved. 
' Why art thou so troubled ?' she said, ' since what has 
happened was destined to happen.' She then thought, ' I and 
my husband are to die for having eaten of the fruit, whilst 
all the other creatures which have not eaten thereof will live 

48 [xxii. 5 

on for ever in joy. It is better that we either die together 
or live together, since our Creator formed us together.' 
She therefore forthwith fed all the creatures of the world 
with the fruit — beasts, animals, and birds alike — until she 
came to a certain bird named Hoi {h)n) or, as some say, 
Milham (so called because it had pity upon itself, and 
refused, in spite of her exceedingly strong persuasions, to 
eat of the fruit or to Hsten to her voice). Eve said, ' Eat of 
this fruit, just as thy fellows have done.' But it replied, 
' Woe unto thee, thou afflicted one, who hast brought death 
upon thyself, upon thy husband, and upon all the creatures 
of the world. I alone remained to be killed by thee, but I 
swear that I shall never eat of that fruit.' 

(6) According to another tradition, the bird Milham said 
to Adam and his wife, ' You have sinned, and have caused 
many others to sin ; you are not satisfied with having 
brought death upon all the creatures of the world, but you 
wish me also to sin against God. Indeed, I shall not listen 
to you.' (7) At that moment a voice was heard saying to 
Adam, ' Thee I have commanded not to eat of the fruit, and 
thou hast not obeyed My commands, but Milham the bird I 
did not command to keep My ordinances and My decrees, 
yet he has fulfilled what I commanded thee ; behold, I will 
establish him and his descendants for all generations to be 
an everlasting witness for Israel.' And therefore they live 
for ever, and exist in that city which the angel of death 
built, and they increase and multiply as all other creatures. 

(8) The sages say that these birds live for ever, and that 
during the space of a thousand years they become smaller 
and smaller until they are like very young chickens, so that 
their feathers fall ofl', and their limbs are divided. Then 
God sends two angels, who restore them to their eggs as at 
first, and they feed them until they are grown up again. 
This is their natural change from one thousand years to 
another, so that they become revivified like the eagle. 

XXIII. (1) Know^ and understand that, when Adam was 
separated for 130 years from Eve, he slept alone, and the 
first Eve — that is, Liiith — found him, and being charmed 

XXIII. 6] 49 

with his beauty, ^Yent and lay by his side, and there were 
begotten from her demons, spirits, and imps in thousands 
and myriads, and whomever they hghted upon they injured 
and killed outright, until Methushelah appeared and 
besought the mercy of God. (2) After fasting for three 
days, God gave him permission to write the ineffable name of 
God upon (his sword ?), through which he slew ninety-four 
myriads of them in a minute, (3) until Agrimus, the first- 
born of Adam, came to him and entreated him (to stop) ; 
he then handed over to him the names of the demons 
and imps. And so he placed their kings in iron fetters, 
while the remainder fled away and hid themselves in the 
innermost chambers and recesses of the ocean. (4) Hanoch 
called his son Methushelah, and said to him, ' All the men 
died (inrD), and they came into the power (fh^) of the angel 
of death.' When Methuselah died (in^), his missile 
(weapon, rh'c) died with him, and they buried his sword 
with him. (5) It is said of Methushelah that out of every 
word uttered by the mouth of God he used to make 230 
parables in praise of God, and he studied 900 sections of the 
Mishna (Traditional Law). When he died, a voice of 
thunder was heard in the heavens, where the angels made 
a funeral oration, and they took him up, and the people 
saw 900 rows of mourners corresponding with the 900 
sections of the Mishna, and the tears flowed from the eyes 
of the holy creatures on to the place where he died. 
(6) Enosh, the son of Seth, was asked, 'Who was thy 
father?' 'Seth,' he replied. 'Who was the father of 
Seth?' 'Adam.' 'And who was Adam's father?' 'He 
had neither father nor mother, but God formed him (shaped 
him) from the dust of the earth.' ' But man has not the 
appearance of dust.' ' After death man returns to dust, as 
it is said, " He will return to his dust "; but on the day of 
his creation man was made in the image of God.' 'How 
was the woman created ?' He said, ' Male and female He 
created them.' 'But how?' asked they (his questioners). 
He answered, ' God took water and earth and moulded it 
together in the form of man.' They asked, 'But how? 


60 [XXIII. 7 

(7) Enosh then took six clods of earth, mixed them, and 
moulded them and formed an image of dust and clay. 
'But,' said they, 'this image does not walk, nor does it 
possess any breath of life.' He then showed them how God 
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. But when He 
began to breathe into it, Satan entered the image so that it 
walked, and they went astray after it, saying, 'What is the 
difference between the bowing down before this image and 
before man?' That is what is meant when it is said, 
' Then they began to apply the name of the Lord '; that is, 
they gave this name to other gods. On this account Enosh 
is mentioned in Scripture immediately before the word 
' his image. ^ 

XXIV. (1) And Cain knew Qalmana, his wife, and Enoch 
was born ; and he built a city and called it Enoch, after 
the name of his son, and he used to entice the people, and 
to rob and plunder them. He built that city, and surrounded 
it with a wall and dug trenches. (2) He was the first to 
surround a city (with a wall), for he was afraid of his 
enemies. And this city, called by the name Enoch, is the 
first of all cities. He was, moreover, the counterpart of 
Enoch the righteous whom God took to Himself and trained 
for the day which is entirely Sabbath. (3) Cain dedicated 
the city to his son's name. When the city called Enoch 
was finished, it was inhabited by his children, who were 
about double the number of those who went forth from 
Egypt. Now the city became very corrupt until the other 
Enoch will arise, the seventh from Adam, and dedicate it 
anew with a holy dedication, together with the sons of 
Lemech, who slew Cain in the seventh generation, after 
Cain had confessed his sin, repented, and his punish- 
ment had been suspended until the seventh generation. 
(4) And Enoch begat Irad, and Irad Mehuyael, and 
Mehuyael Metushael, and Metushael Lemech, the seventh 
from Adam. They were all wicked, for all the descendants 
of Cain were called the seed of evil-doers, and all his 
descendants were swallowed up by the flood. (5) The wicked 
Lemech had two wives, 'Adah and Sillah, and 'Adah bare 

XXIV. 10] 51 

Jabal ; he was the father of such as Hve in tents and feed 
the cattle. He discovered the work appertaining to 
shepherds, and made tents and pens for the cattle, one for 
the sheep, and another for the oxen, distinct from each 
other. He also invented the locks which are made to 
prevent thieves entering the house, which are like mito 
this, X' ^i^cl the name of his brother was Jubal, the 
father of all who play on the harp and the reed-pipe. 
(6) At this time the inhabitants of the earth began to 
commit violence, to defile each other, and kindle the 
anger of the Lord. They began to sing with the harp 
and the reed-pipe, and to sport with all kinds of song 
corrupting the earth. This Jubal discovered the science of 
music, whence arose all the tunes for the above two instru- 
ments. This art is very great. (7) And it came to pass, 
when he heard of the judgments which Adam prophesied 
concerning the two trials to come upon his descendants by 
the flood, the dispersion and fire, he wrote down the science 
of music upon two pillars, one of white marble, and the 
other of brick, so that if one would melt and crumble away 
on account of the water, the other would be saved. (8) And 
Sillah bare Tubal Cain, who forged all the iron implements 
of war, and was an artificer in all kinds of ironwork. He 
also discovered the art of joining lead and iron together, in 
order to temper the iron and to make the blade sharper. 
He also invented the pincers, the hammer, and the axe, and 
other instruments of iron. Tubal was a worker in all kinds 
of tin and lead, iron and copper, silver and gold. Then men 
began to make graven images for worship. The sister of 
Tubal Cain was called Naamah. It was she who invented 
all kinds of instruments used for weaving and sewing silk, 
wool and flax, and the entire art of the fancy-worker and 
the weaver. (9) In the days of Enosh men began to 
be designated by the names of princes and judges, to be 
made gods, applying to them the name of the Lord. 
They also erected temples for them, but in the time of Ee'u 
they were all overthrown. (10) It came to pass when man 
began to multiply upon the face of the earth, that the 


52 - [XXIV. 11 

children of Elohim— that is, the seed of Seth — looked upon 
the daughters of man — that is, the seed of Cain— and they 
took them wives of all which they chose, and begat those 
giants that peopled the earth in the days of Noah. 
(11) During the whole hfetime of Adam the sons of Seth 
had not intermarried with the seed of Cain, but when Adam 
died they intermarried. The sons of Seth dwelt in the 
mountains by the Garden of Eden, while Cain dwelt in the 
fields of Damascus, where Abel was killed. For seven 
generations the descendants of Seth kept righteous, but 
thenceforward they became wicked. It was for this reason 
that God repented that He had made man. (12) From the 
seed of Seth and Cain there came forth the giants, who, 
from their haughtiness of spirit, fell and became corrupt, 
and were therefore swept away by the waters of the flood, 
and therefore they were called ' Nefilim ' (the fallen). They 
claimed the same pedigree as the descendants of Seth, and 
compared themselves to princes and to men of noble 
descent — sons of Elohim, lords and judges. Concerning 
them it is said, ' Therefore like unto man ye shall die, and 
as like unto princes ye shall fall.' 

The Mideash of Shemhazai. and 'Azael. 

XXV. (1) E. Joseph was once asked what was the story 
of Shemhazai and Azael, and he replied, ' When the 
generation of Enosh arose and worshipped idols, and when 
the generation of the flood arose and went astray, God was 
grieved that He had created man, as it is said, "And the 
Lord repented that He had made man, and He was grieved 
at heart." (2) Then two angels, whose names were 
Shemhazai and 'Azael, appeared before God, and said, " 
Lord of the universe, did we not say unto Thee when Thou 
didst create Thy world, ' Do not create man '?" as it is said, 
"What is man, that Thou shouldst remember him?" 
" Then what shall become of the world ?" said God. They 
replied, " We will occupy ourselves with it." (3) God said, 
" It is revealed and well known to Me that if perad- 

XXV. 9] 53 

venture you had lived in that earthly world, the evil 
inclination would have swayed you just as much as it 
rules over the sons of man, but you would be more 
stubborn than they." " Give us Thy sanction, then, and 
let us descend among the creatures, and then Thou shalt 
see how we shall sanctify Thy name." "Descend," spake 
the Lord, ''and dwell ye among them." Forthwith He 
allowed the evil inclination to sway them. (4) As soon as 
they descended and beheld the daughters of man that they 
were beautiful, they began to disport themselves with 
them, as it is said, "When the sons of Elohim saw the 
daughters of man," they could not restrain their inclination. 
(5) Shemhazai beheld a girl whose name was Estirah 
(nn^DD\s*). When he beheld her, he said, "Listen to my 
request." But she replied, " I will not listen to thee until 
thou teachest me the name by the mention of which thou 
art enabled to ascend to heaven." He forthwith taught her 
the Ineffable Name. (6) She then uttered the Lieffable 
Name and thereby ascended to heaven. God said, " Since 
she has departed from sin, go and set her among the 
stars " — it is she who shines brightly in the midst of the 
seven stars of Pleiades ; for that she may always be remem- 
bered God fixed her among the Pleiades. (7) When 
Shemhazai and 'Azael saw this they took to them wives, 
and begat children. The former begat two children, whose 
names were Heyya (^V.n), and Aheyya (J^VnN). And'Azael 
was appointed chief over all the dyes, and over all kinds 
of ornaments by which women entice men to thoughts of 

(8) ' God then sent Metatron a messenger to Shemhazai, 
and said to him, " God will destroy His world, and bring 
upon it a flood." Shemhazai then raised his voice and wept 
aloud, for he was sorely troubled about his sons and his own 
iniquity. " How shall my children live, and what shall they 
eat, and if the world is destroyed what shall become of my 
children, for each one of them eats 1,000 camels, 1,000 
horses, and 1,000 oxen daily ?" (9) One night the sons of 
Shemhazai — Heyya and Aheyyah — dreamt dreams. One 

54 [XXV. 10 

dreamt that he saw a great stone spread over the earth like 
a table, the whole of which was covered with writing. 
An angel descended from heaven with a knife in his hand 
and obliterated all the lines, save one line only with four 
words upon it. (10) The other dreamt that he saw a lovely 
garden, planted with all kinds of trees and beautiful things. 
An angel descended from heaven with an axe in his hand, 
and cut down all the trees, so that there remained only one 
tree containing three branches. (11) When they awoke from 
their sleep they were much confused, and, going to their 
father, they related their dreams. He said to them, " God 
is about to bring a flood upon the world, to destroy it, so 
that there will remain but one man and his three sons." 
They thereupon cried in anguish, and wept, saying, '' What 
shall become of us, and how shall our names be per- 
petuated ?" "Do not trouble yourselves about your names. 
Heyya and Aheyya will never cease from the mouths of 
creatures, because every time that men raise heavy stones, 
or ships, or any heavy load or burden, they will sigh and 
call your names." With this his sons were satisfied 

(12) ' Shemhazai repented and suspended himself 
between heaven and earth, head downwards, because he 
durst not appear before God, and he still hangs between 
heaven and earth. (13) 'Azael, however, did not repent. 
He is appointed over all kinds of dyes which entice man to 
commit sin, and he still continues to sin. Therefore, when 
the Israelites used to bring sacrifices on the day of atone- 
ment, they cast one lot for the Lord that it might atone for 
the iniquities of the Israelites, and one lot for Azael that 
he might bear the burden of Israel's iniquity. This is the 
'Azazel that is mentioned in the Scripture.' 

XXVI. (1) Adam begat three sons and three daaghters, 
Cain and his twin wife Qalmana, Abel and his twin wife 
Deborah, and Seth and his twin wife N5ba. (2) And 
Adam, after he had begotten Seth, lived 700 years, and 
there were eleven sons and eight daughters born to him. 
These are the names of his sons : 'Eli, Sheel, Surei, 'Almiel, 

XXVI. 13] 55 

Berokh, Keal, Nahath, Zarhamah, Sisha, Mahtel, and 'Anat 
(jiji; '?nnD .s*j'v ncniT nm hv2 "qVin 'ps^o'pi; n.-ii; bx.c'. ^>s) ; 
and the names of his daughters are : Havah, Gitsh, 
Hare, Bikha, Zifath, Hekhiah, Shaba, and 'Azm. (3) And 
Seth Hved 105 years and begat Enosh. After he begat 
Enosh, Seth Hved 707 years and begat three sons and 
two daughters. The names of his sons were : EHde ah, 
Funa, and Matath, and the names of his daughters were 
MeHla and Tela. (4) And Enosh Hved 180 years and begat 
Qeinan ; and after Enosh had begotten Qeinan he Hved 
715 years, and begat two sons, Ehor and Aal, and one 
daughter, Qatenath. (5) And Qeinan begat, after Mahalalel, 
three sons, Hatak, ]M5kro, and Lupa, and two daughters, 
Hannah and Liba. (6) And after Yered, Mahalalel begat 
seven sons, viz., Teqa, Maya, Nekhar, Meli, Aesh, Uriel, 
Luriutin, and five daughters, 'Adah, N5'ah, Yebal, Maadah, 
and Sihah. (7) After Enoch, Yered begat four sons, viz., 
L'ei'ad, 'Anaq, Sabkhe, Yeter, and two daughters, Zezekho 
and Lezekh. (8) After Methuselah, Enoch begat five sons, 
viz., 'Anaz, Le'on, 'Akhaon, Peledi, and Eled, and three 
daughters, viz., Teid, Lefid, Laead. Then God desired 
Enoch and took him away. (9) After Lemech, Methuselah 
begat two sons and two daughters, viz., 'Enab, Eapo, 
*Alumah and'Amugah. And Lemech begat Noah, and said, 
' This one wih comfort us and give rest to the earth and 
all its inhabitants when God will visit the earth with evil 
on account of the wickedness of the evildoers.' (10) And 
Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 
(11) Cain and his wife Temed dwelt in the land of Nod. 
And Cain knew his wife Temed when he was fifteen years 
old, and she bore him Enoch, and he built seven cities and 
called the first Enoch, after the name of his son. (The 
names of the remaining six were) : Maole, Leed, Gezeh, 
Yeshbah, Qeled, and Yebab. (12) And after Enoch, Cain 
begat three sons, Ulaf, Lezef, and Fuzal, and two 
daughters, Seta and Mahat. (13) And Enoch took Niba, 
the daughter of Shem, to wife, and she bore him Zera, 
Qu ith, and Maddaf. And Zera begat Methushael, and 

56 [XXVI. 14 

Methushael, Lemech. (14) And Lemech took two wives. 
Ada bore Jabal, the father of all those who dwell m tents, 
and Jubal, the father of all who play upon the harp and 
the reed-pipe. (15) Then the inhabitants of the land 
began to commit violence and to defile the wives of their 
neighbours, thus kindling the anger of the Lord. And 
they then began to play upon the harp and the reed- 
pipe, and to sport with every kind of song, corrupting 
the earth. This same Jubal discovered the science of 
music, whence arose all the melodies for the two above- 
named instruments. This is a great science, as I have 
explained in its proper place (above). (16) And it came to 
pass, when Jubal heard the prophecy of Adam concerning 
the two judgments about to come upon the world by means 
of the flood, the dispersion and fire, that he wrote down 
the science of music upon two pillars, one of fine white 
marble and the other of brick, so that in the event of the 
one melting and being destroyed by the waters, the other 
would be saved. (17) And Sillah bore Tubal Cain, who used 
to sharpen all instruments of iron for war, and worked in 
all manner of iron. He also invented the art of alloying 
lead and iron together, so as to temper the iron and to make 
the blade sharper. He also invented the pincers, the 
hammer, and the axe, and all instruments of iron. (18) The 
sister of Tubal Cain was Na'amah. It was she who invented 
the art of weaving and sewing silk, wool, and flax, and the 
whole art of the fancy-worker and the weaver. Sillah also 
bore Miza and Tipa. Tubal was a worker in tin, lead, 
iron, copper, silver, and gold. Then men began to make 
graven images for their worship. (19) 'Adah also bore Jabal, 
who was the father of those who dwell in tents and attend 
to the flock. He discovered the work appertaining to 
shepherds, and made tents and pens for the cattle, one for 
the sheep and another for the oxen, distinct from each 
other. He also invented the locks, as a safeguard to 
prevent robbers entering the house, like this, x- (2^) I^^ ^^^® 
time of Enosh men were called princes, judges, and made 
gods, applying to them the name of God ; and temples were 

XXVII. 2] 57 

made for them, but they were overthrown m the time of 
Ee'u. And Enoch — who was the author of many writmgs — 
walked with God, and was no more, for God had taken him 
away and placed him in the Garden of Eden, where he will 
remain until Elijah shall appear and restore the hearts of 
the fathers to the children. (21) And the flood took place, 
and Noah w^ent forth from the ark and offered sacrifices, 
and the Lord, smelling the sw^eet savour, said, ' I shall no 
more curse the earth and smite every living being, but if 
they sin against Me, I shall judge them by famine, sword, 
fire, pestilence, and earthquake, and I shall scatter them 
hither and thither. And I shall remember this for the 
inhabitants of the earth until the end. And it shall come 
to pass, when the end of the world shall have arrived, that 
the light shall cease and the darkness shall weep, and I 
shall revive the dead and awaken those who slumber in the 
dust, and Sheol will repay its debt, and Abadon return its 
portion, and I shall requite the wicked according to their 
deeds and judge between the flesh and the soul. And the 
world shall rest in quietness (peace), and I shall destroy 
death for ever. The grave shall close its mouth and the 
earth shall no longer be without produce, nor shall its 
inhabitants be rooted out nor be defiled by iniquitous judg- 
ments, for there shall be a new earth and new heavens for 
an everlasting habitation.' 

XXVII. (1) The sons of Jepheth were Gomer, Magog, 
Madai, Yavan, Tubal, Meshekh, and Tiras ; and the sons 
of Gomar were Ashkenaz, Eiphath, and Togarmah ; and 
the sons of Yavan, Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Do- 
danim. (2) The sons of Gomer were Teled, Lud, Deber, 
and Led; the sons of Magog, Qashe, Tipa, Paruta, 'Amiel, 
Pinhas, Golaza, and Samanakh ; the sons of Dedan, Shalom, 
Filog, and Tuflita ; the children of Tubal, Fantonya and 
Atipa ; the children of Tiras, Maakh, Tabel, Bal'anah, 
Shampla, Meah, and Elash ; the children of Melech, 
Aburdad, Horad, and Bosrah. The children of Ashkenaz 
w^ere Yekhal, Sardana, and Anakh ; the children of Heri, 
Esudad, Do'ath, Depaseat, and Hanokh ; the children 

58 [XXVII. 3 

of Togarmah, Abihud, Shafat, and Yaftir ; the children of 
Elishah, Zaaq, Qenath, and Mastizrida ; the children of 
Zipthai, Mafshiel, Tina, Avla, and Jinon. The children 
of Tisai were, Maqol, Luon, Silagtaba ; the children of 
Dodanim, Iteb, Beath, and Faneg. And of these the inhabi- 
tants of the land of Persia, Media, and those of the isles of 
the sea were divided. (3) And Faneg, son of Dodanim, 
was the first to ride the ships of the sea. At that time a 
third part of the land of Eomidath was flooded. And his 
sons subdued Yedid ; and the sons of Magog subdued 
Degel, and the sons of Madai subdued Bitto ; the sons of 
Yavan, Seel; the sons of Tubal, Pahath ; the sons of 
Meshek, Nephti ; the sons of Tiras, Pioo ; the sons of 
Dinim, Gudah. And Eiphath without his sons conquered 
Godo ; and the sons of Eiphath, Bosrah ; and the sons of 
Targomah, Phut ; the sons of Elishah, Tablo ; the sons 
of Tarshish, Meriba ; and the sons of Kittim . . . ; and the 
sons of Dodanim, Qaduba. Then did men begin to till 
the ground, and when the land was parched, they cried 
to God, and He caused a fructifying rain to descend. 
And it came to pass, when the rain descended, the bow 
was seen in the clouds. When the inhabitants perceived 
the sign of the covenant, they blessed the Lord. (4) The 
children of Ham were Cush, Misraim, Put, and Canaan ; 
and these are the children of Cush, Sheba, Tudan, Vabni (?), 
Maipon, Tinos, Siho, Tiluf, Gilug, Lipukh. The children 
of Canaan were Sidon, Andaim, Eesin, Simim, Oroin, 
Nimigim, Hamatim, Nipim, Tilas, Hag, and Cushim. Cush 
begat Nimrod, who was the first giant in pride before God. 
Misraim begat Ludim, 'Anamim, Lehabim, Naftuhim, 
Pathrosim, Kasluhim, and Kaftorim. These began to 
build the following cities : Sidon and its villages, Eison, 
Kiuza, Mazager, Ashqalon, Debir, Qamo, Tilon, Lakhish, 
Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Seboim. (5) The children 
of Shem were Elam, Ashur, Arpakhshad, Lud, and Aran. 
The sons of Ashur were Gezron, Ishai ; and Arpakhshad 
begat Shelah, and Shelah begat 'Eber. Two sons were 
born to Eber : the name of the one was Peleg, for in his 

xxviii. 1] 59 

days the earth was divided, and the name of his brother, 
Yoqtan, who begat Ahiiodad, Shalaphtra, Muzam, Eiadura, 
'Uzim, Diqalbel, Mimoel, Shabethfin, Havilah, Yobab. And 
the children of Peleg were Eeu, Eifud, Shafra, Aqolon, 
Zakar, Zifd, Gebi, Shuri, Shzeiir, Palabus, Eafa, Paltia, 
Shafdifal, Shayish, Hartman, EKfaz. These are the 
children of Peleg, and these are their names. They took 
to them wives of the daughters of Yoqtan, by whom w^ere 
born sons and daughters, so that the whole earth was filled 
with them. (6) And Ee'u took to him Malkah, the daughter 
of Euth, to wife, and begat Serug. When the days of her 
pregnancy were drawing to an end, Ee u said, ' From this 
one will issue a child, in the fourth generation, whose 
throne will be established on high ; he will be called a 
perfect righteous man, the father of a multitude of nations. 
His testimonies will not be forsaken, and his seed shall fill 
the world.' And Ee'u begat after Serug seven sons, Abiel, 
Obed, Shalma, Dedazal, Qlniza, 'Akur, Nefesh, and five 
daughters, Qadima, Derifa, Sheifa, Firita, and Tehilah. 
(7) After Nahor, Serug begat four sons, Sillah, Diga, Soba, 
and Pora, and three daughters, Gizla, Hogiah, and Shelifa. 
And after Terah, Nahor begat six sons, viz., Eekab, Deriab, 
Berikhab, Shibalshaf, Nidab, and Qemuel, and eight (?) 
daughters, Yiskah, Tipa, Berona, Qanita. He took to wife 
Amtalai, the daughter of Karnabo. (8) And Terah Hved 
seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran, and 
Haran begat Lot. (9) Then the inhabitants of the land 
began to prognosticate by the planets and to become 
astrologers and to practise divination. They also passed 
their sons and daughters through fire, but Serug and his 
sons did not walk in their ways. 

XXVni. (1) These are the generations of Noah in their 
lands, according to their families, and according to their 
tongues. After the flood they were spread over the earth 
according to their nations. The children of Ham then 
went and appointed Nimrod to be a prince and a chief 
over them ; while the children of Japheth appointed 
Pinhas to be a prince and a chief over them. And the 

60 [XXVIII, 2 

children of Ham appointed for themselves Yoqtan as their 
prince and chief. (2) These three chiefs came and took 
comisel together to assemble all their people while Noah 
their father was yet alive. And all the people accordingly 
drew near to them, and w^ere as one body, and peace 
reigned in the land. (3) It came to pass, 640 years after 
Noah went out of the ark, that each chief numbered his 
people. Pinhas numbered the children of Japheth and the 
children of Gomar, and the total number of those which 
Pinhas numbered was 5,800 ; that of the children of Magog 
under him, 6,200 ; that of Madai under him, 5,700 ; that 
of the children of Tubal, 9,400 ; and the children of 
Meshech, 7,200 ; the children of Kiphath numbered 11,500 ; 
those of Togarmah, 14,400; those of Elishah, 14,900; of 
Tarshish, 12,100 ; of Kittim, 18,300 ; of Dodanim, 17,700. 
The number of the children of Japheth, the men of w^ar 
and the armour-bearers, as Pinhas their prince had 
numbered them was 142,000, besides women and children. 
(4) Nimrod the chief numbered the children of Ham under 
his sway, and found them to be 12,600 ; the children of 
Misraim under him w^ere, 24,900 ; the children of Phut, 
27,700; of Canaan, 32,900; of Sheba, 4,300 (?) ; of Havilah, 
24,300; of Sabta, 25,300; of Ea amah, 30,600; of Sabtecha, 
46,400. And the number of the children of Ham, according 
to the numbering of Nimrod the prince, was 492,000 
valiant men who went out to w^ar, besides the women and 
children.^ (5) And the number of the children of Noah 
was 714,100. All these were numbered during the lifetime 
of Noah, and Noah lived after the flood 350 years. And all 
the days of Noah were 950 years, and he died. 

XXIX. (1) Now, it came to pass, when the inhabitants of 
the land were already spread abroad, that they gathered 
together and journeyed from the East, and arrived at a 
valley in the land of Babylon, where they stayed. Then 
each man said to his neighbour, ' Behold the time is coming 
when at the end of days man will be separated from his 
neighbour, and brother from brother, and there wall be war 

1 N.B. — Sliem has evidently dropped out in tlie MS. 

XXIX. 7] 61 

between us. Come, therefore, and let us build a city and a 
tower, the top of which is to reach heaven, and let us make 
for us a great name upon the earth.' (2) And each one 
said to his neighbour, ' Come, and let us make bricks, and 
let each one write his name upon his brick, and let us burn 
them, and each brick will be to us as a stone and the pitch 
for mortar.' Each one made his brick and wrote his name 
upon it, with the exception of twelve men, who did not 
wish to be with them. (3) These are the names of the 
men who were not in their counsel : Abram, Nahor, Lot, 
Ee u, Tinuto, Seba, Almodad, Jobab, Eser, Abimael, Sheba, 
and Ofir. The people of the land seized these, and, 
bringing them to their princes, said, ' These are the men 
who have transgressed the counsel we have advised, and they 
do not wish to tread in our paths.' (4) The princes then 
said to them, ' Why did you refuse to make bricks, the same 
as the other peoj^le of the land?' And they answered, 
* We shall not make bricks nor remain with you, for we 
know but one God, and Him we serve ; even if you burn us 
in the fire together with the bricks, we shall not walk in 
your ways.' (5) The princes were very wroth thereat, and 
said, * As they have spoken, so shall we do ; for unless 
they act as we do, you shall cast them in the fire together 
with the bricks.' (6) And Yoqtan, the head of the princes, 
answered and said, 'We shall not do this, but we will 
grant them seven days, and then, if they desire to make 
the bricks with us, they shall live ; but if they refuse, 
they shall die by the fire.' For he sought to save them 
from their hands, as he was the head of the house of their 
fathers, notwithstanding that they served the Lord. So the 
people did, and placed the transgressors in the prison, in the 
house of Yoqtan. (7) And it came to pass in the evening that 
Yoqtan the prince called fifty men of valour, and commanded 
them, saying, ' Gird yourselves, and this very night take these 
men that are imprisoned in my house, place them upon ten 
(twelve) mules, and, providing both the men and the animals 
with food, bring them to the mountains, and there remain 
with them ; but if you betray this thing to anyone, you shall 

62 [XXIX. 8 

die by fire.' (8) The men accordingly went forth to do as 
they were commanded. In the night they took them and 
brought them before Yoqtan the prince. He said to them, 
' Ye who remain steadfast in God, trust in Him for ever, for 
He shall deliver you and save you. Therefore behold I 
have commanded these fifty men to take you to the moun- 
tains with provender and food, and there do you conceal 
yourselves in the valleys, for in the valleys there is sufficient 
water, and stay there for thirty days, for by that time 
either the thoughts of the people will have passed from 
you, or the anger of the Lord wdll be kindled against them 
so that He shall destroy them, for I know that they will 
not abide by their wicked counsel wiiich they devised, 
for their plan will be frustrated. (9) And at the end of 
the seven days, when they seek you, I will say to them, 
" They have broken the door of the prison and fled during 
the night, and I sent a hundred men to pursue and 
seek them : I shall do all this to appease their wrath." ' 
And eleven men answered him, saying, ' Behold we have 
found favour in thine eyes, for thou hast delivered our 
lives from the hands of our enemies.' (10) Abram alone 
w^as silent, and Yoqtan the prince said to him, ' Why dost 
thou not answer together with thy friends ?' And Abram 
replied, ' Behold to-day we flee to the mountains to escape 
from the fire ; but if wild beasts rush out of the mountains 
and devour us, or if food is lacking so that we die by famine, 
we shall be found fleeing before the people of the land and 
dying by our sins. Now, as the Lord in whom I trust 
liveth, I shall not depart from this place, wherein they have 
imprisoned me, and if I am to die through any iniquity, 
then I shall die by the will of God according to His desire.' 
(11) ' Thy blood be upon thine own head,' said the prince, 
* if thou wilt not flee with these men ; for if thou wilt flee 
thou art sure to be saved.' Abram replied, ' I shall not flee, 
but remain.' He was accordingly put into prison again, 
and the prince sent the eleven men away in charge of fifty 
others, whom he commanded to remain with them for 
fifteen days, and to return and say, ^ We have not been 

XXX. 2] 63 

able to find them.' ' If 3'ou do not do this I shall have you 
burnt to death.' (12) At the end of seven days all the 
people assembled and said to their princes, ' Give us the 
men who refused to abide by our counsel, and let us burn 
them in the fire.' They thereupon sent for them, but 
found only Abram. 'Where are those men who were 
bound in the prison of thy house ?' asked the chiefs, Pinhas 
and Nimrod. Yoqtan replied : ' They broke away in the 
middle of the night and escaped, and I have sent a hundred 
men after them to discover and to slay them.' And the 
people exclaimed, ' Since we have only found Abram, let us 
burn him in the fire.' (13) And they took Abram and 
brought him before the princes, who asked him, saying, 
'Where are the men whom w^e imprisoned with thee?' 
' I do not know, for I slept all the night, and when I 
awoke I did not find them.' So they made a brick-kiln, 
and heated it until the bricks in it glowed fiercely ; they 
then placed Abram in the furnace of fire, and Yoqtan 
appeased the wrath of the people by the burning of Abram. 
(14) The Lord at that moment caused a great earthquake 
throughout the land, so that the fire leaped from the 
furnace and became a huge blaze, which devoured all the 
men that surrounded it, and the number of men burnt on 
that day was 84,500. But Abram w^as not burnt, and he 
came forth from the furnace of the Chaldees {i.e., the fire of 
the Chaldees), and, having escaped, he went to his friends 
upon the mountains and related all that had befallen him. 
They thereupon returned with him from the mountains, 
happy and rejoicing in the name of the Lord, nor did the 
people speak against them any longer. They thenceforward 
called the name of that place ' The God of Abraham.' 

XXX. (1) It came to pass, after these things, that the 
people did not turn from their evil counsels, but coming to 
their princes, they said, ' Behold, will not man be able to 
conquer the world ? Come and let us build for ourselves 
a city and tower, the top of w^iich shall reach heaven, so 
that it shall stand for ever.' (2) And it happened, when 
the}^ began to build, that God saw the city and the tower, 

64 [XXX. 3 

and said, ' Behold this people is of one speech ; now the 
earth will not bear them, neither will the heaven support 
them. (3) Therefore I shall scatter them over the whole 
earth, and shall confuse their tongue, so that one shall 
neither be able to recognise his brother nor under- 
stand the speech of his neighbour. (3) And I will order 
them to the clefts, and they shall prepare for themselves 
dwellings made of reeds and straw, and they shall dig for 
themselves caves and holes in the dust, and the beasts of 
the field shall dwell among them. There they shall remain 
all their days, and shall not again counsel such a deed. 
And I will fight (or : I will draw near unto) them with 
shields (or : thorns^ mr^'a), and I shall destroy one portion 
by water and another by fire, and I shall destroy them with 
thirst, but Abram, My servant, I shall select ; I shall bring 
him out of their land to the land upon which my eyes have 
long dwelt. (4) And when the people sinned and I brought 
a flood upon them, this land was not destroyed, for I did 
not cause the flood to descend upon it in My wrath, and I 
shall bring thither Abram, My servant, and shall make a 
covenant with him and his seed for ever, and I shall bless 
him and be to him a God for ever.' 

(5) And it came to pass, when they commenced to build 
the tower, that God confused their tongue and changed 
their form into that of monkeys, so that one could not 
recognise his own brother nor could one man understand 
the language of his neighbour, so that when the builders 
ordered the people to bring stones they brought water, and 
when they told them to bring water they brought stubble. 
In this way their evil intentions were frustrated, and they 
ceased building the tower, and the Lord scattered them 
over the face of the whole earth. (6) For they had said, 
' Come and let us build for ourselves a city, and let us take 
axes and break open the firmament so that the water flow 
from there and descend below, that He may not do unto us 
as He did to the generation of the flood. And let us wage 
war with those in heaven and establish ourselves there as 
Gods.' (7) But how could they build the city, since they 

XXXI. 3] 65 

had no stones ? They made bricks from clay and pitch, 
and burnt them as a potter burns his pots in the oven 
and hardens them. In this ^ay they made the bricks, 
and built the city and the tower exceedingly high, with 
seventy steps. The ascent was made from the east and the 
descent was from the west. If a man fell therefrom they 
did not heed it much, whereas if a brick fell, they wept 
bitterly and said, ' When, oh, when, will another be brought 
up ?' (8) When Abram saw their wicked ways he cursed 
them in the name of the Lord, but they did not pay atten- 
tion to his words. The Lord then descended with the 
seventy (thousand) angels that surround His throne, and at 
that time of the dispersion He confounded their tongue 
into seventy different languages. 

XXXI. (1) These are the generations of the sons of 
Noah : Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Children were born to 
them after the flood, for from Noah there came forth 72 
families — from Japheth, 15 ; from Ham, 30 ; and from 
Shem, 27. And these 72 families were separated each 
according to his lineage in his own land, with their 
several nations, into 72 languages, the Hebrew language 
in Eber, the Egyptian in Egypt, the Greek in Greece, 
Latin in Eome, the Aramean in Syria, the Chaldean in 
Chaldea, etc. The nations which descended from Shem 
were 406, Britania, Qalabra, Tosqana, Luqa, Piqensa, etc. 
The whole earth was divided into three parts. (2) Shem, 
the eldest, chose his portion in the land of 'Asya (S'Dr), 
that is, the land of Persia, from Baqtris to Endiana, from 
the Persian Piiver until the Ocean in the west and the 
whole Piinos. They numbered 27 languages, and 406 
peoples. Ham took his portion in the land of Afriqia, 
which comprises Aram, Hamath, and the mountain of 
Lebanon, in a well-watered land, until the Eed Sea and 
the Sea of Philistia, from Piinos as far as Gadaira. The 
number of their languages was 22, and that of the peoples 
394. (3) Japheth chose his portion in the land of Eoropa 
(S£ii-ni^\s), that is, in the south from Media to Bodea 
(n5<nn), and their boundaries extended from the moun- 


66 [XXXI. 3 

tains of Taoro (nixo) and Mano 0^^^), in Syria and 
Sisilia, until the river Tanais (dn^o), until Gadaira, that 
is, the land of Eoropa (t^sinti^''^?, Europe). The number of 
their languages was 23, and that of their peoples 300. 
The land of Shem contained the river Euphrates ; Ham, 
G(ih6n) which is called the Nile ; Japheth, Hiddeqel 
(Tigris), in Media and Babylon. (4) The children of 
Japheth are Gomer, i.e., Gavathi (or Galathi, '•n5<^wS3) and 
Regini ; Magog, i.e., Sqite {'W^) (Scythes), from whom 
arose Gog and Magog. These were the peoples which 
Alexander of Macedon enclosed in the Caspian Mountains ; 
and from them arose the Guti (Goths), Pirati (^P^T?), 
Nordmani (^J?oi"|''ii), Bauveri (n^nixn), Langobardi, Saqsonei, 
Gasqonei. Madai are : Medi, Yavan-Gresi CT^.^), Armenei 
(>N''3>?D"ix), and Fransi CV^:"?). The river of the Gresi (^V-^f) 
is called Yoniu. Tubal are Iberi and Ispamia ; Mesech 
are the Qapadoses (i^'Vnssf^). The name of the city was 
formerly Mesekhah (nsJi^^), and the royal city was Qapa- 
doqia (x^pnisp), now called Cpesarea (Kesari, ^"iDp), in the 
land of Kaftor; Tiras are Trases (t^V^^in). The children 
of Gomer were Ashkenaz, in the land of the Greeks, or 
Gresi (^vnj), Rifath (n^n) is Paflagronas (Paphlagonians) 
(C'yn^sS^ss). Togarmah are the Frezes (Phryges, 
^'^jn?)). The children of Yavan were Elisa' (r::>''^5<), 
i.e., Eolides (t^"i''?li<^s), and they are one-fifth of the Greek 
tongue. Tarshish is Silisia (nsv^'p/p) — this is the Tarshish 
in the Book of Jonah — Kittim are Qipres (D'lQ^i?), Dodanim 
are Piodie (*^>nn). All these live from the mountain Amone 
(^MDJ<) and Taoro (^li^P), in Brittania, as far as the sea 
Oqeanos. [Eliezer the Levite thought fit to add here the 
chapter, from the beginning of Jossipon the Great's work, 
because it is similar to the above ; and this is the very 
beginning of the Book of Jossipon.] 

(6) And the children of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, 
Madai, Yavan, Tubal, Mesekh, and Tiras; and these are 
the names of the countries of the children of Yapheth who 
were scattered at the time of the dispersion. The children 
of Gomer were the Frankos (D^p3i2), who inhabited the 

XXXI. i4j 67 

country of the Frankos (Dip^ns), in the land of Fransehii 
(^j'pvnD), on the river Segna (xj^^^^O- Eiphath are the 
Britanos (Di^ona), who inhabit the land of Eiphtania 
(s^jnan), on the river Lira (i<i'h). The Segna and Lira 
both flow into the Ocean. Togarmah branched into ten 
families, who are the Cuzar pii?), Pasinaq (pj-'va), Alan 
(I'ps), Bulgar (ijSn), Kanbina (.srnJD), Turq (i"5>lo), Buz 
(Tin), Zakhukh ("]1dt), Ugar (iJix), and Tulmes (]'D^in). All 
of these dwell in the North, and the names of their lands 
are taken from their own names, and they live by the river 
Hetel (^nn) ; but Ugar, Bulgar, and Pasinaq live by the 
great river called Danube ('?-l^^), i.e., the Dunai (^^jn). (8) 
The children of Javan are the Greeks, who dwell in the 
land of Nsa (x^'j)i and Macedonia. (9) Madai, that is, 
Edalus i^l^r^), dwell in the land of Turkhan (jS^o or 
Kurasan IPli?).^ (10) Tubal are the Tuscans (\:?i?*fin), who 
dwell in the land of Tuscania, by the river Pisa (i^P^?) ; 
Mesech, i.e., the Saqsoni (>jDpD). (11) Tirus, i.e., the 
Eossi (^Dn) ; the Saqsni (^jL^pL") and the Iglesusi (^Dp^^^x) 
dwell by the river of the great sea. The Eossi dwell 
by the river Kio (or Kiva, nvd), which flows into the 
Gergan (|.sn^:) Sea. (12) Elisa, i.e., Alamania (n^jo^n), 
inhabit the mountains of lov and Sebtimo (iD^nnc'i iv) ; 
and from them arose the Lungobardi (nnai^j^), who came 
from the other side of the mountains of lov and Septimo 
(iD-nn::'! nv), and having conquered Italia, dwelt in it until 
this very day on the river Pao (uss), and Tisio ()^2y^) ; and 
from them again arose the Borgonia (i^^Jijna), who dwell by 
the river Eodano (ini-i), and the Bidria (i<nn^n), dwelling 
by the river Einos (Dijn), which flows into the Great Sea. 
And the rivers Tisio and Pio ()i^^^) iN^^^^'n) flow into the 
sea Venitiqia (x^p^j^^^n). (13) Tarshish, i.e., the Trkisiani 
('':)N^DV"in), who accepted the law of the Macedonians; and 
from them come Trasos (Dii^nn). And it came to pass, 
when the Ishmaelites captured the land of Trasos, that its 
inhabitants fled to the land of Greece, and fought hence 
with the Ishmaelites in Trasos. (14) Kittim, i.e., the 
1 2 N.B.— These words scarcely legible in the MS. 


68 [XXXI. 14 

Eomans, who dwell in the valley Kapania (5<^:2d), by 
the river Tiberio. Dodanim (D^iin), these are the Danisqi 
('p:r^i"i), who dwell in the midst of the tongues of the sea, 
in the land of Danemarka (j^didji) and Asidania (? ^^^n^vs), 
in the Great Sea, who swore not to serve the Eomans, and 
they hid themselves in the midst of the waves of the sea ; 
but they could not (withstand) them, for the power of 
Eome extended as far as the end of the isles of the sea. 
(15) And thus the Moraia (n\STiD), Bruti (^SDm), Sorbin 
(pn-no), Lusinin (pJViS), Liumin (pr^), Krakar ("i35<nD), and 
Bazimin (pnnn) are reckoned among the descendants of the 
Dodanim. They dwell by the seashore, from the border of 
Bulgar {i:"?)!) until Venitiqia (t^v^^^^^^) on the sea, and 
from there they spread as far as the border of Saqsni 
{^:^p^) to the Great Sea ; they are called Isqlabi (u'?pD\s). 
Some say they are descendants of Canaan, but they trace 
their descent to the Dodanim (oonn). [Thus far the 
Hebrew of Josippon ; from the next sentence beginning, 
'And it came to pass when the Lord scattered,' etc., I 
shall copy in connection with Esau and the kings of Edom 
later on. Let us now return to the narrative of Jerahmeel.] 
(16) The children of Shem wereElam 'Elamitet (op^pW), 
Ashur, i.e., Assyria (J^n^P'X) ; Arpachshad, i.e., Qaldea 
(nx^ -i^p) ; Lud, i.e., Lydia (ni<n>S) ; and Aram, i.e., Syria 
Cy^^). The children of Aram were 'Us, where Job was 
born, Geter (nn^), Qarnani ('v^57i2), Menes (^T?;?). These 
dwell from the Persian Gulf until the Ocean. (17) The 
children of Ham were Cush, Misraim, Phut, and Canaan. 
Cush is called Ethiopia (nt<>srns) ; Misraim, Egypta 
(xtp?i^:!\s), Phut, Libia {^^'^'b); and Canaan the Land of 
Israel. The children of Cush were Saba, Havilah, Sabta, 
Ea'amah, and Sabtecha. The children of Eaamah were 
Sheba and Dedan. Sheba comprises the Sabeans, Arabians, 
and Indians (JS^rt^) ; Havilah, i.e., Getili {''^n';.) ; Sabta, 
i.e., Astabari (nn^L^'S) ; Sabtecha and Ea'amah I have 
not been able to find. From the children of Ea'amah 
(came) the Queen of Sheba, and Dedan is a nation to the 
east of Cush. (18) And Cush begat Nimrod. The begin- 

XXXII. 1] 69 

ning of his kingdom was Babylon and Erekh, i.e., Edessa 
(SLvnvs, -j-is) ; Accad, i.e., the city of Nisibis (^'^3>rj). 
Kahiah, Selevqos gave to the city of Kahia the name of 
Selevqia (S'-piv^D) ; from this land came Ashm% i.e., Bel, the 
son of Nimrod. And Bel begat Ninus, who built the great 
city of Nineveh ; and Eehoboth, i.e., the wide city ; and 
Misraim begat Ludim, and 'Anamim, and Lehabim, and 
the rest I do not know, for a war broke out between 
Ethiopia and Egypt, and all these nations were ulti- 
mately merged into one, so that they could no longer be 
distinguished. [And I, Eliezer, the scribe, have heard 
that the Lehabim are the Flaminga (^i'^^'^'')? and their 
appearance is like blazing fire, as it is said, ' And their 
faces are the faces of torches.'] And Canaan begat 
Sidon, his firstborn, by whose name the city of Sidon is 
called ; it is in the land of Phenise {^T^^P). The Hittites, 
Jebusites, Amorites, and Girgashites and Hivites were 
destroyed by the Israelites. 'Arqi, the city of 'Arqes (^'i?"!^), 
near Tripolis ; Arvadi is the name of an island, Arvodios 
(::ni^nnx) ; Semari, i.e., Edessa, in the land of Syria; 
Hamathi built Hamath, i.e., Antochia. And the Canaanite 
boundary extended from Sidon, reaching as far as 'Azzah, 
and as far as Lesha, i.e., Qaliron (pi^bp). Its waters are 
warm, and flow into the Salt Sea. These are the sons of 
Ham, according to their families, their tongues, in their 
countries and provinces. (20) And Cush, the son of Ham, 
begat Nimrod, who was a mighty hunter in the land before the 
Lord. He caught men through his strength, and forced them 
to bow down to him, to make him a god, and to worship 
him. He therefore counselled the people to erect the city 
and the tower of Babel, where he established his kingdom, 
in order to rebel against God ; and therefore, according to 
an ancient proverb, whosoever rebelled against the Lord 
was compared to Nimrod, the mighty hunter before God. 

XXXII. (1) I, Jerahmeel, have found in the book of 
Strabon of Caphtor that Nimrod was the son of Shem ; and 
when Noah was one hundred years old a son was born to 
him in his form and in his image, and he called his name 

70 [XXXII. 1 

Jonithes (Dn^j'r). His father, Noah, gave him gifts, and 
sent him to the land of Itan (in^x), of which he took posses- 
sion as far as the sea of Ehochora (i<"]i:3iNv;s). And Nimrod 
the wicked went to Jonithes to learn of his wisdom, for the 
spirit of the Lord was with him. But Jonithes foresaw by 
means of astrology that the wicked Nimrod would come 
to him to take counsel with him how he could obtain 
sovereignty ; he gave him the explanation of the four kings 
whom Daniel saw. And Jonithes said to Nimrod that the 
descendants of Ashur would reign first, i.e., the children of 
Shem, as it is said : ' And the sons of Shem were Elam and 
Ashur.' (2) The beginning of Nimrod's reign was in 
Babylon, and there Nimrod begat Bel. At the time of the 
dispersion Nimrod departed thence, and allied himself with 
the children of Ham ; therefore it is said, ' And Cush 
begat Nimrod.' (3) After Nimrod, Bel, his son, succeeded 
to the kingdom in Babylon, in the days of Serug. And 
Bel went to the land of Ashur, but did not capture it. 
When Bel died, Ninus, his son, succeeded him, and, 
capturing the land of Assur, reigned over it, and built 
Nineveh and Eehoboth ; and the length of the city was 
a distance of thirty days' walk; it became the royal 
residence of Assur. From this land Assur, that is, Ninus, 
the son of Bel, the son of Nimrod, went forth. (4) Ninus 
vanquished Zoroastres the Wise, who discovered the art of 
Nigromancia, i.e., Nagira {^y},^). He reigned in Bractia 
(Bactria), and had written down the seven sciences (or 
arts) on fourteen pillars, seven of brass and seven of brick, 
so that they should be proof against the water — of the flood 
— and against the fire— of the day of judgment. But Ninus 
vanquished him, and burnt the books of wisdom. (5) And 
Ninus wrote (?) another book of wisdom. When Bel, his 
father, died, he (Ninus) made an image in the likeness and 
form of his father, and called it Bel, after the name of his 
father ; and he was always grieving at the loss of his father. 
He called all the gods Bel, after his name, as it is said, 
' Nebo bowed Bel bent down.' Whosoever Ninus hated 
was pardoned when he came in the name of Bel and sup- 

xxxiii. 1] 71 

plicated him for mercy. Thus, all the world honoured 
and worshipped the god Bel, and made obeisance to him. 
Some gods were called Ba'al, and there is a Ba al Pe'or and 
a Ba al Zebub. (6) In the forty-third year of the reign of 
Ninus Abraham was born, and on that very day the first 
King Pharaoh began to reign in Egypt, who was called 
Tibei C^^^^O) ; and after him all the kings of Egypt were 
called Pharaoh until the reign of Ptolemy, the son of 
Lagos, in Egypt, after whom all the kings of Egypt were 
called Ptolemy (^Dhn). All the kings of Assyria were called 
Antiochus ; and all the kings of Eome were called Csesar, 
after the name of Julius Caesar, until this very day. 
(7) When Abraham was ten years of age, Ninus, the son 
of Bel, died, and his wife, Semeramit, reigned after him in 
Assyria forty-two years. After her there reigned Shim'i 
C'VW), the son of Ninus, who built the city of Babylon. At 
that time all the kings were under the king of Assyria, i.e., 
under Shim'i, the son of Ninus, and whoever had greater 
power than his fellow-man forced the other to serve him 

XXXIII. (1) As this is simply to be taken as a legend, 
we do not care to reconcile it with the other, which 
makes Abraham live in the time of Nimrod the Wicked. 
According to the latter w^e find that Nimrod acted as judge 
over him, since it is related that the whole household of 
Abraham's father were idol -worshippers, moreover they 
made idols and sold them in the streets. But when a man 
approached Abraham to sell him an idol, he would ask him, 
'How much is this image?' 'Three manas,' he would 
reply. ' How old art thou ?' Abraham would add. ' Thirty 
years.' ' Thou art thirty years of age, and yet worshippest 
this idol which we made but to-day !' The man would 
depart and go his way. Again, another would come to 
Abraham, and ask, ' How much is this idol ?' ' Five 
manas,' he would say. 'How old art thou?' would 
Abraham continue. ' Fifty years.' ' And dost thou, who art 
fifty years of age, bow down to this idol which we made but 
to-day ?' With this the man would depart and go his way. 

72 [XXXIII. 2 

(2) When Nimrod heard of Abraham's utterances, he 
ordered him to be brought before him, and said, ' Thou son 
of Terah, make me a beautiful god.' Abraham then entered 
his father's house, and said, ' Make a beautiful image for 
me.' They accordingly made it, finished it, and painted it 
with many colours. He went and brought it to Nimrod. 
[Here probably a lacuna in MS.] (3) And on that day 
Abraham's righteousness shone forth. It was a cloudy day, 
and rain fell. Therefore, when they were about to thrust 
him into the burning furnace, Nimrod sat down, and all 
the people of the dispersion did likewise. Abraham then 
entered, and standing in the centre, he pleaded his cause. 
After which Nimrod asked, ' If not the gods, whom shall I 
serve ?' Abraham replied, ' The God of gods and Lord of 
lords, whose kingdom is everlasting in heaven and on earth, 
and in the heavens of the high heavens.' ' I shall worship,' 
said Nimrod, ' the god of fire ; and, behold, I shall cast 
thee therein. Let, then, the God to whom thou testifiest 
deliver thee from the burning furnace.' (4) They then 
immediately bound him strongly and tightly, and placed 
him on the ground. They then surrounded him with w^ood 
on the four sides, 500 cubits thickness to the north, 
500 cubits to the south, 500 to the west, and 500 to the 
east. They then set the pile on fire. (5) The whole house 
of Terah were worshippers of idols, and until that moment 
had not recognised their Creator. Their neighbours and 
fellow-citizens assembled, and, beating their heads, said to 
Terah, ' shame — great shame ! thy son, of whom thou 
didst say that he will inherit this world and the world to 
come has Nimrod burnt in the fire.' (6) Immediately then 
God's mercy was moved, so that He descended from the 
habitation of His glory, His greatness. His majesty, and 
the holiness of His great name, and delivered Abraham, 
our ancestor, from that shame, from that reproach, and 
from the burning furnace, as it is said, ' I am the Lord 
who brought thee out of the fire of the Chaldeans '; and 
since a miracle was wrought for our forefather Abraham, 
he and Terah were able to refute the generation of the 

XXXIV. 3] 73 

Dispersion, as it is said, ' Be wise, my son, and let my 
heart rejoice, and then I shall be able to answer those who 
reproach me.' 

XXXIV. (1) The sages tell that when our forefather 
Abraham was born a star appeared, which swallowed up 
fom- other stars from the four sides of the heavens. When 
the astrologers of Nimrod saw this they forthwith went to 
Nimrod and said, * Nimrod, of a certainty there is born 
to-day a lad who is destined to inherit both this world and 
the world to come. Now, if it is thy wish, let us give his 
father and mother a large sum of money, and then kill him. 
Whatever his father and mother wish shall be given to them.' 
* What kind of child is he whom ye seek to kill ?' asked 
Nimrod. 'A boy,' said they, 'was born to-day, and a 
star appeared which swallowed up four stars of the 
heavens, and he is destined to inherit this world and the 
world to come.' 

(2) Then said Terah, for Terah, the father of Abraham, 
was present there, ' This thing which you suggest is to be 
compared to a mule, to which man says, " I will give thee 
a quantity of barley, as much as a houseful, on condition 
that I cut off thy head." The mule replies, ''Fool that 
thou art ; if thou cuttest off my head, of what use will the 
barley be to me, and who will eat it when thou givest it to 
me r' Thus I say unto you, if ye slay the son, who will 
inherit the goods and the money which ye give to his 
parents ?' To this they answered, ' From thy words we 
perceive that a son has been born to thee.' ' A son has 
been born to me, but he is now dead.' ' But we speak of a 
living son, and not of one dead,' added they. 

(3) When Terah heard their words he immediately went 
home, and hid his son Abraham in a cave for three years. 
After that time he brought him forth. As soon as Abraham 
saw the rising sun in the east he said to himself, ' Of a 
certainty this is the lord of the whole world, and to him 
I pray ; he created me and the whole world.' When he 
saw the moon he said, ' This is the lord of the whole 
world, and to him I shall supplicate ; he created me and 

74 [xxxiv. 3 

the whole world.' Thus when evenmg came, and the sun 
had set and the moon had risen, he prayed to the moon the 
whole night. When, however, the morning came, the moon 
set and the sun rose. As soon as he saw the sun on the 
morrow Abraham said, ' Now do I know that neither the 
one nor the other is lord of the world, but that both of them 
are servants of another Master, and that is Lord who 
created the heavens and the earth and the whole world.' 

(4) Then Abraham forthwith asked his father, ' Who 
created this world, the heavens, and the earth V And 
Terah, his father, replied, ' This great image is our god.' 
' If this is true,' said Abraham, ' I shall bring a sacrifice to 
him, and he will be pleased with me, as he is with other 
people.' He thereupon went to his father, and said, ' Make 
for me a cake of fine flour that I may offer it to him.' His 
father, complying with his request, made him a cake of fine 
flour, w^hich Abraham took and offered before the great idol, 
saying, ' Accept this offering from me ;' but he neither took 
it nor ate it nor drank it. (6) When Abraham saw this he 
went to his mother, and said, ' Make me a meal offering 
better than this, that I may offer it to the god of my 
father.' When she made it Abraham took the meal 
offering to the little image, saying, ' Accept thou this 
meal offering from my hand, and be pleased with me as 
thou art with other men.' Seeing that he did not reply, 
Abraham said, ' This offering has not been made to his 
liking.' (7) Then going once more to his mother, he said, 
' Prepare a meal offering better still than this.' She did 
so, and Abraham presented the offering to the image. 
When he perceived that it neither ate nor drank nor 
answered him a word he went once more to the large image, 
and said, ' I entreat thee to receive this offering from me ; 
do thou eat and drink and be pleased with me as thou art 
with other men.' But as neither of them replied to him, 
Abraham waxed very angry, and the spirit of prophecy 
rested upon him, and he said, ' They have eyes, but see 
not ; ears, but hear not ; they have hands, but do not 
move them ; and feet, but do not walk; nor do their throats 

XXXIV. 11] 75 

give utterance. Like them are their makers and all those 
who trust in them.' He then kindled a fire and burned 

(9) "When Terah arrived home and found his idols 
burnt, he ^Yent to Abraham, and said, 'Who has burnt 
my gods ?' And Abraham replied, ' The large one picked 
a quarrel with the little ones, and burnt them because 
he was angry with them.' ' Fool that thou art,' said his 
father, ' how canst thou say that he who cannot see nor 
hear nor walk, that he who has no power could burn 
them ?' Then said Abraham to his father, ' my father, 
hear what thy mouth utters ; why dost thou forsake 
the living God who created the heavens and the earth, 
and servest gods that neither see nor hear?' (10) There- 
upon Terah took Abraham, our ancestor, and went with 
him to Nimrod. And Terah said to Nimrod, ' my lord the 
king, judge this my son who has burned my gods, and find 
out who is the God which he makes for himself.' ' Who is 
this man'?' said Nimrod. ' My son.' Then added Nimrod, 
' Why hast thou acted thus and burned the idols ?' ' I did 
not do this, nor did I burn them,' said Abraham. ' Who, 
then, did act thus and burn them ?' ' The great idol burnt 
them,' said he. 'Fool that thou art,' replied Nimrod. 
'how canst thou say that that which cannot stand by 
itself, cannot hear nor see, nor hath any power could 
burn them?' 'Hear thou, my lord, what thy mouth 
utters. Why dost thou forsake the living God, who 
created the heavens and the earth and who created thee, 
and in whose hand is the Spirit of all living, and worshippest 
other gods of wood and stone, which do not hear nor see 
nor speak ?' (11) * Who, then,' said Nimrod, ' created the 
heavens and the earth, if not I ?' ' Art thou he ?' queried 
Abraham. ' I am,' replied he. ' Then by this I shall know 
that thou art the creator of everything. Behold, the sun 
rises in the east and sets in the west : if thou canst by thy 
command cause the sun to rise in the west and to set in 
the east, I shall then know and believe that thou didst 
create all.' When Nimrod heard Abraham's words he was 

76 [XXXIV. 12 

dumbfounded; he put his hand to his beard and was wonder- 
struck at his words. 

(12) As soon as the astrologers saw Abraham they 
recognised him at once, and said to Nimrod, * lord the 
king, this is the child of whom we spoke on the day of his 
birth, and whom thou didst desire to slay. If it be thy 
will, we shall bring thee wood and burn him to death, and 
then compensate his parents with a large sum of money. 
Now, lord, since he has come into our hands, let us burn 
him in the fire.' ' Do then your will,' said Nimrod. They 
forthwith went away, and having heated the furnace for 
seven (whole) days, cast him into it. 

(13) Then spake the angels to God, saying, * Lord of 
the universe, let us go and deliver this man from the fiery 
furnace.' At that moment a dispute arose among the 
angels who said, ' Let us descend and deliver this man 
from the furnace.' One said, ' I shall go down to deliver 
him,' and another said, ' I shall go down to deliver him.' 
Michael said, ' I shall go down,' and Gabriel said, ' I shall 
go down.' Then spake God himself to Gabriel, and said, 
' I am One in My world, and so is this man, who was the 
first to declare the unity of My name in the world. It is, 
therefore, meet that I the One should go down and rescue 
him who is also one in his generation. It is pleasing to Me 
to descend and rescue him from the fiery furnace.' At that 
moment God descended in His glory and in His strength, 
and delivered him from the furnace of fire. He brought 
him forth without a blemish. When all the nations saw 
that Abraham was thus delivered from the burning furnace, 
they forthwith sanctified the name of God, and some of 
them were made proselytes through the means of Abraham 
our ancestor. 

XXXV. (1) These are the generations of Terah, etc. : 
Haran, the firstborn, begat Lot and Yiskah, i.e., Sarai, and 
Milkah. And Haran died in the presence of his father 
Terah in Ur of the Chaldees. On account of the idols of 
Terah he died in the fire of the Chaldeans, for the Chaldeans 
worshipped the fire. Terah used to make the idols of their 

XXXV. 3] 77 

gods, and Haran, his eldest son, used to sell them. But 
Abram did not worship them. The Chaldeans came to dip 
both Haran and Abram in the fire, for they were accustomed 
to dip them in the fire, just as some nations dip their sons 
in the water. Abram, who did not worship, and who did 
not bow down to the idol, was saved from the fire of the 
Chaldeans and was not burnt ; but Haran, who feared the 
idols, who honoured them and sold them for worship, was 
burnt in the fire of the Chaldeans and died. When Terah 
saw that God delivered Abram, he deserted his former faith, 
and went forth with him (Abram) to dwell in a foreign 
country ; and he gave Milkah, the daughter of Haran, to 
Nahor, his son, to wife, and Yiskah, that is Sarai, he gave to 
Abram, his youngest son, after he had weaned her and 
brought her up in his own house on the death of her father 
Haran. And he gave Lot, the son of Haran, to Abram as 
an adopted son, for Sarai was barren. And they went forth 
towards the land of Canaan. (2) Now, it came to pass, 
when Abram came from Babylon — i.e., Ur of the Chaldees — 
he betook himself to Damascus, he and his household, and 
was made king over that city ; for Eliezer was then the 
ruler of Damascus ; but when he saw that the Lord was 
with Abram he presented him with the kingdom and 
surrendered himself to his service. And I, Jerahmeel, 
have discovered in the Book of Nicolaos of Damascus that 
there existed a certain neighbourhood in Damascus called 
the dwelling-place of Abram. This they honoured ex- 

(3} And the Lord said to him (Abram), ' I am the Lord, 
who brought thee forth from the fire of the Chaldeans.' 
The sages say that when Nimrod the Wicked cast Abram into 
the fiery furnace, Gabriel said to God, ' I shall go down and 
cool the furnace, and deliver this righteous man.' But God 
replied, 'lam One in My world, and he is one in this world; 
it is therefore proper for the One to deliver the other one.' 
But since God does not withhold reward from any creature, 
He added to Gabriel, * Thou shalt deliver three of his 
posterity.' For when Nebuchadnezzar cast Hananya, 

78 [XXXV. 3 

Mishael, ancrAzaria,mto the burning farnace Laqmi (vopi<'?), 
the angel who rules over hail, spake to God, and said, 
' I shall go down and cool the furnace, and thus deliver the 
righteous men.' But Gabriel interposed, and said, ' The 
greatness of God would not be shown in this manner, for 
thou art the ruler over hail, and all people know that water 
quenches fire ; but I who am the ruler over fire shall go 
clown and cool the inside while I am at the same time heat- 
ing the outside of the furnace. Thus I shall perform a 
double miracle.' Then spake God to Gabriel, ' Descend.' 
And Gabriel at once exclaimed, * The truth of God is ever- 
lasting.' (4) And Abram was rich in cattle, silver, gold, and 
in all the wisdom of ' hermetica ' and astrology which he had 
acquired in Egypt from Pharaoh's magicians, so that there 
was none so wise as he. From Egypt these sciences spread 
over Greece. And Abram was able to foretell the future by 
the observance of the stars, and was very wise in astrology. 
He taught his magic science to Zoroastres, the philosopher, 
and he saw from the planets that the order of the world 
was not as before, for the order of creation was changed on 
account of the flood and the dispersion. Rabbi ETazar, of 
Modiin, asserted that Abraham was exceedingly great in 
magic, so much so that all the kings of the East and 
West waited upon him. 

(5) And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of 
Mamre. Josippon relates that Abram used to sit in an oak- 
tree, and that that oak lasted until the reign of Theodosius 
in Eome, when it withered, and despite the fact that it had 
dried up, yet its wood was excellent for medicinal purposes, 
for whoever took of its wood, whether animal or man, did 
not experience any illness to the day of his death. 

(6) Then supervened the destruction of the cities of the 
plain. And Lot said, ' I am not able to flee to the 
mountain, for I am an old man, and the cold will kill me, 
and my soul is also weary. Behold there is a little city near 
to flee to ; I pray thee let me escape thither, for the way is 
short, and my soul shall live.' And the name of the city 
had formerly been ' Bela'.' Now, there was a great earth- 

XXXV. 8] 79 

quake ; and Lot went and dwelt in a cave, for he feared the 
earthquake. And the Lord rained brimstone and fire from 
heaven upon Sodom, so that on the third day all the plain 
was filled with water. This they now call the Salt Sea, or 
' Leber Meer ' (i^p ii'h). Neither fish nor fowl are found 
there. It separates the land of Israel from Arabia. During 
the whole of the forty years the Israelites were in the wilder- 
ness they travelled round this sea. No ships are able to 
travel thereon, because the sea is like pitch, so that nothing- 
can sink in it, but remains on the surface on account of the 
pitch ; and if one places a burning torch upon the pitch, all 
the while it floats it burns, but as soon as it is extinguished 
it sinks to the bottom. And the sea vomits a kind of black 
pitch with which the things are joined together, for it is 
good for sticking. Josippon relates that he saw Vespasian 
cast a man into that sea, and that he hurled him with great 
force into it so that he should sink, but the sea brought 
him up again. The sand on the shores of the sea is salty, 
and one finds there the ' salty stones of Sodom ' looking like 
pieces of marble. 

(7) When Jacob was born Inachus was then the first 
King of Argos, and reigned for fifty years, and in the third 
year of his reign a daughter was born to Inachus whose 
name was lo, and the Egyptians gave her a surname and 
called her Izides (C^H'T^n), and worshipped her as a God. 
(8) And in the nineteenth year of Jacob's life the Egyptians 
made Apis King of Egypt ; they made him a god and called 
his name Sarapis. And Apis made for himself a calf by 
means of the magic of his magicians. On the right eye of 
the calf there was a white mark in the likeness of the moon, 
and once every day at the fourth hour it used to rise up 
from the river and fly in the air. And the Egyptians used 
to worship and pray and sing praises to it with all kinds 
of instruments, and prostrate themselves before it. And 
in a moment the calf vanished and was no more, and it was 
hidden and concealed as before in the river, so that the 
Egyptians could not see it until the morrow at the fourth 
hour. This the calf repeated every day. The Egyptians 

80 [XXXV. 8 

called it Sarapis, and for this idol-worship the Egyptians 
were punished by water when they perished in the Eed Sea. 
(9) In the ninety-second year of Jacob's life Joseph was 
born, and at that time there was a flood in the land of 
Achaya («:?^), which was a very large kingdom. There 
reigned in it a king whose name was Ogiges (t^*3;y^5^). This 
king built anew the city Akta (i^^?^), and called its name 
Eliozin (rTVs'''?^N*, Eleusis). At that time there arose a 
virgin, whose name was Titonide (n^JiD^p). She was versed 
in all the seven sciences. They called her Pallas, because 
she killed a giant called Palante O^jSq). At that place the 
city of Palini {'T^P) was built. 

XXXVI. (1) And a great terror was upon the cities 
that were round about them, and they did not pursue after 
the sons of Jacob ; for they said, ' If two sons of Jacob were 
able to do this thing ' (namely, to exterminate a whole town), 
' how much more would they exterminate the whole world 
if all the sons of Jacob gathered together ?' This terror of 
them fell upon the cities, for the Lord let the terror fall 
upon all the nations, and they did not pursue the sons of 
Jacob. The sages say, ' They did not pursue them during 
that same year, but after (seven) years they pursued them, 
for they came back and settled there again.' The kings of 
the Amorites assembled themselves, when they heard that 
Jacob and his sons had again settled in Shekhem. They 
came to slay them, saying, ' It is not enough for them to 
have killed all the men of Shekhem, now they come also to 
take possession of their land.' 

(2) When Judah beheld them coming, he was the first to 
spring in the midst of their ranks, and was soon engaged in 
fight with Ishub, King of Tapuah, who was covered with 
iron and brass from head to foot, standing in the middle of 
his lines (of soldiers). He rode a powerful steed, and he 
could throw his javelins with both hands from horseback, 
in front and behind, and never missed his aim even to a 
hair's breadth, for he was a mighty and powerful man, and 
could manage his spear with either hand. Judah was not 
at all frightened when he saw him, despite his strength, 

XXXVI. 6] 81 

but he picked up a heavy stone from the ground, weighing 
about sixty shekels, and threw it at him at a distance of 
two parts of a furlong ; i.e., 170 cubits and one-third of a 
cubit. Whilst the king was advancing against Judah, 
dressed in iron armour and throwing his spears, Judah 
struck him with the stone upon his shield and rolled him 
oft' his horse. (3) Judah hastened to approach him, in 
order to kill him before he could get up again from the 
ground, but the king rallied quickly and sprang upon his 
feet. Now he began to fight with Judah, shield against 
shield. He drew his sword and tried to smite the head of 
Judah, but Judah lifted up his shield and received the blow 
aimed at him ; the shield broke into two pieces. Judah 
thereupon ducked and slashed with his sword at the feet of 
the king and cut them off from the ankles. The king fell 
to the ground and his sword slipped out of his hands. 
Judah sprang upon him and cut off his head. 

(4) Whilst he was busy stripping him of his armour, nine 
comrades of the dead man attacked him. Judah broke the 
head of the first who approached him with a stone, and killed 
him on the spot. He let his shield drop out of his hand, 
which Judah seized, and defended himself with it against the 
other eight. His brother Levi came to his rescue and shot 
the King of Ga'ash with an arrow. Judah succeeded then 
in killing the eight. Jacob then killed (Zehori), King of 
Shiloh, with an arrow, and they could not stand against 
the children of Jacob, but all turned and fled, and the sons 
of Jacob pursued them. And Judah killed on that day a 
thousand men before sunset. 

(5) The remaining sons of Jacob came out from Shekhem, 
from the side where they had been standing, and pursued 
them among the mountains, until they came to Hasor. 
There, before the town of Hasor, they had to fight more 
than they had fought in the vale of Shekhem. (6) Jacob 
shot with his arrows and killed Pir'athaho, King of Hasor, 
and Susi, King of Sartan, and Laban, King of Horan (or 
Heldon, pn'pn), and Shakir (or Shikkor), King of Mahna(im). 
Judah was the first to climb up the wall of Hasor. Four 


82 [xxxvi. 6 

warriors attacked Judah and fought with him, till Naphtali 
came to his rescue, for he followed Judah upon the wall ; 
but before he came up, Judah had killed the four warriors. 
Judah stood now on the right side of the wall, and 
Naphtali on the left, and they killed all the people that 
were there. The other sons of Jacob jumped upon the wall 
after them, and destroyed it, and on that same day they 
took the town of Hasor, and killed all the warriors, and 
they did not leave one single man. After that they carried 
away the booty. 

(7) The following day they went to Sartan. There was a 
great multitude of people, and the fight was a very heavy 
one, for it was a town built upon a height, with high walls, 
and it was difficult to approach in consequence of these 
walls ; yet they subdued it on that same day, and got 
upon the walls. The first to climb them was Judah, on 
the east, after him came Gad on the west, Simeon and 
Levi climbed up on the north, and Eeuben and Dan on the 
south, whilst Naphtali and Issachar put fire to the gates of 
the town. The fight was very fierce upon the walls, and their 
remaining comrades went up to their assistance. They all 
stood now against a huge tower (wherein the inhabitants 
had fled, defying from there the assailants). That was 
before Judah had taken the tower. But he soon went up to 
the top of the tower and killed two hundred men on the 
roof, and the other sons of Israel killed the rest, not leaving 
one single man, for these were all powerful and valiant 
warriors. They carried away the whole booty and returned 
to their places. 

(8) Now they went against Tapuah, for its inhabitants 
had tried to rob them of their spoil. First they killed all 
the men who had come out for the purpose of robbing them 
of the booty. Afterwards they rested on the waters of 
Jishub (31l"^), north of Tapuah. Early in the morning 
of the third day they marched tow^ards Tapuah. Whilst 
they were gathering their booty, the inhabitants of Shilo 
came out and attacked them. But they were all beaten 
and killed before noon, and they entered with the fugitives 

XXXVI. 12] 83 

into Shilo, and did not allow them to stand up against 
the sons of Jacob. On that same day they occupied 
the town and carried away the spoil thereof. The troop of 
their company which they had left against Tapuah came 
now to meet them with the booty from Tapuah. 

(9) On the fourth day they marched against the camp of 
Shakir ("T'DcO. Some of the camp came out to rob them of 
the booty. They (the sons of Jacob) had gone down into the 
valley, and the (men from Shakir) ran after them, but 
when they tried to ascend again they were killed. After 
that the men from the camp of Shakir threw stones upon 
them ; but the sons of Jacob occupied the towm, and killed 
all the warriors, and added the booty from this towai to the 
booty they had formerly collected. 

(10) On the fifth day they went to Mount Ga'ash. There 
lived a great multitude of the Amorites. Ga ash was a 
fortified town of the Amorites. They fought against it, but 
could not well subdue it because it had three walls, one wall 
inside the other. And the inhabitants began to defy and 
to reproach the sons of Jacob. (11) Judah waxed wroth, 
and he was the first to jump upon the wall. He would 
have met his death there had not his father Jacob come to 
his rescue. He first bent his bow and shot his arrows wdth 
his right hand, then he dreW' his sword and killed right and 
left, until Dan sprang upon the w^all and assisted Judah. 
(From the right-hand side the inhabitants threw stones at 
him, and from inside they fought him, and they all tried 
to push him dow^n the w^all.) Dan drove them away from 
the wall. After Dan, Simeon, Levi and Naphtali came up, 
and they killed so many of the inhabitants that the blood 
flowed like a river. (And when the sun was near its setting 
they had taken the town and killed all the warriors) and 
they carried away the booty. 

(12) On the sixth day all the Amorites came without 
arms and promised to keep peace (and friendship, and 
they gave unto Jacob Timna' and the whole land of 
Hararyah). Then made Jacob peace with them, and the 
sons of Jacob restored them all the sheep they had 


84 [XXXVI. 12 

captured from them, and in returning them gave douhle, 
two for one. And Jacob built Timnah (n^^DTi), and Judah 
built Zabel ('pNaT). And from that time on they lived in 
peace with the Amorites. This it was that Jacob said to 
Joseph, '' I have given thee a portion above thy brethren, 
which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword 
and with my bow." 

XXXVII. (1) And Esau went into a land away from 
his brother Jacob. He made a contract with him. Some 
say he went out of shame. The sages say : Esau went 
away because he had moved his property away, and not 
because his hatred had subsided, for " his anger did he bear 
perpetually and he kept his wrath for ever." Although he 
went away at that time, he came again to fight Jacob after- 
wards. Leah had just died, and Jacob and his sons were 
sitting in mourning, and some of his children had come to 
comfort him. At that time Esau came against him with a 
mighty host, all clad in iron and brass coats of mail, all 
armed with shields, and bows, and lances. They were alto- 
gether four thousand men, and they surrounded the fortress. 
Jacob, his sons, his servants, and his cattle, and all that 
belonged to them, were gathered, for they had all con- 
gregated to comfort Jacob during his mourning. (2) So 
they were all sitting peacefully, and never thought of any 
attack from any side whatsoever until that host approached 
the place where Jacob and his sons were dwelling. There 
were with them in all two hundred servants. 

(3) When Jacob saw that Esau dared to war with him, 
and that he had come to take the fortress and to slay them, 
and that he shot arrows against them, Jacob stood upon 
the wall of the tower and spoke to Esau words of peace, 
friendship and brotherhood. But Esau did not heed 

(4) After that, Judah spoke to his father Jacob, and said 
to him : " How long wilt thou speak unto him words of 
friendship and love, whilst he comes against us like an 
armed enemy, with coats of mail and with bows to slay us ?" 
And immediately Jacob bent the bow, and killed Adoram 

XXXVII. 9] 85 

the Edomite. (5) And again he drew his bow, sent forth 
his arrow, and hit Esau on the right shoulder. Esau 
became weak from the wound, and so his sons took him up 
and placed him upon a white mule, and they carried him 
to Adoram, where he died. [Others say he did not die there.] 

(6) And then came Judah, and Gad and Naphtali with 
him, out of the south side of the fortress, and fifty young 
men-servants of their father. And Levi, and Dan, and 
Asher came out from the east side of the fortress, and fifty 
servants with them. And Keuben, Issachar and Zebulun 
came out from the north of the fortress, and with them 
fifty servants. And Simeon, and Benjamin, and Enoch, 
the son of Reuben, came out from the west side of the 
fortress, and fifty servants with them. Joseph was not 
with them at that time, for he had already been sold. 

(7) Judah strengthened himself for the battle, and he, 
Naphtali and Gad first rushed against the host. And they 
captured the iron tower (?), and caught on their shields the 
stones which were hurled at them. The sun was darkened 
through the stones, and through the arrows which were shot 
at them, and through the missiles which the catapults hurled 
at them. And Judah rushed first against the enemy, and 
killed sixty men. Naphtali and Gad went with him, one 
kept watch over him to the right, and the other to the left, 
guarding him lest he should be slain by the enemy. They 
also slew two men each, and the fifty servants who were 
with them helped them, and each of them slew his man, fifty 
in all. (8) And yet Judah, Naphtali and Gad could not 
drive away the host from the north side of the fortress, 
nor even move them from their position. Again they 
strengthened themselves for the battle, and each of them 
slew two of his adversaries. (9) And when Judah saw 
that they still kept their ground and that they could not 
move them from their place, his wrath was kindled, and he 
clothed himself with strength, and he slew twenty men, whilst 
Naphtali and Gad slew ten men. And when the servants 
saw that Judah, Naphtali and Gad were standing in the 
midst of the battle, they came to their assistance, and 

86 [XXXVII. 9 

fought together with them. Judah was slaymg to the 
right and left, and NaphtaH and Gad slew behind him. 
(10) At that time they drove the army aw^ay from the north 
side of the city, a distance of a furlong (Eis on). And 
they wanted to bury (their dead), but could not do it. 
When the enemy saw that those who had fought against 
Judah had been dispersed by Judah and his brothers, they 
gathered together and strengthened themselves to fight with 
Judah and his brothers, and they arrayed their ranks to 
fight with strength and might. In the same manner Levi 
and those with him, and Simeon and those with him, 
prepared themselves for battle with those arrayed against 
them, and they were ready to fight for life or death. 

(11) When Judah beheld that the whole army of the 
enemy had gathered against him, and that all would fight 
at one time, and that they stood in battle-array, he lifted 
up his eyes to God (imploringly) that He might help them, 
for they were very fatigued from the heavy fight, and they 
could not by any means fight any longer. 

(12) At that moment God accepted Judah's prayer. He 
saw their trouble, and He helped them, for He sent forth a 
storm from His treasuries, which blew in the faces of the 
army and filled their eyes with darkness and obscurity, so 
that they could not see how to fight, w^hilst the eyes of 
Judah and his brothers were clear, as the wind came from 
behind them. So Judah, Naphtali and Gad began to slay 
them, and they felled them to the ground, like the harvest 
cut by the reaper, who binds it into sheaves and heaps 
them up into stacks. So did they do until they had 
destroyed the whole army Avhich stood against them on the 
north side of the fortress. 

(13) Reuben, Simeon and Levi fought on their side 
with another portion of the army. And after Judah, 
Naphtali and Gad had slain those who fought with them, 
they went to the assistance of their brothers. The storm 
was still blowing, filling the eyes of the enemies with dark- 
ness and obscurity. Thereupon Reuben, Simeon and Levi, 
and those with them, fell upon the enemies, and felled them 

xxxviii. 1] 87 

to the ground in heaps, whilst Judah, Naphtali and Gad 
were driving them before them, until all those were 
destroyed who fought against Levi and Keuben ; and out of 
those who fought against Simeon four hundred were slain. 
The remaining six hundred ran away ; with them were the 
four sons of Esau : Eeuel, Yeush, Ya'alam and Korah. 
Eliphaz did not accompany them in the war, for Jacob had 
been his teacher. 

(14) The sons of Jacob pursued them up to the city 
Merodio (Herodia). There in the citadel of Merodio they 
left the body of Esau lying on the ground, and they ran 
away to Mount Se'ir, to the place leading up to 'Aqrabim. 
The sons of Jacob entered Merodio and encamped there 
over night. Finding there the body of Esau, they buried 
him out of respect for their father, Jacob. (Some say he 
did not die there, but left Merodio, though ill, and went 
with his children to Mount Se'ir.) 

The sons of Jacob armed themselves and pursued them 
the way leading to 'Aqrabim, where they found the children 
of Esau, and all those that had fled with them. They all 
came out, prostrated themselves before the sons of Jacob, 
and sued for peace. The children of Jacob made peace 
with them, and made them tributary for ever. 

This is the Will (Testament) of Naphtali, Son of Jacob. 

XXXVIII. (1) When Naphtali grew old and came to an 
old age, and had completed his years of strength, and 
fulfilled the duty of the earth-born man, he began to 
command his children, and he said unto them, ' My 
children, come and draw near and receive the command of 
your father.' They answered, and said, ' Lo, we hearken 
to fulfil all that thou wilt command us.' And he said unto 
them, ' I do not command you concerning my silver, nor 
concerning my gold, nor concerning all my substance that I 
leave unto you here under the sun, nor do I command you 
any difficult thing which you may not be able to accomplish ; 
but I speak to you about a very easy matter, which you can 
easily fulfil.' 

88 [XXXVIII. 2 

(2) His sons answered, and said a second time, ' Speak, 
father, for we listen. Then he said unto them, ' I leave 
you no command save concerning the fear of God ; Him 
ye shall serve, to Him ye shall cling.' They said unto him, 
' What need hath He of our service?' And he answered, 
' It is not that God hath need of any creature, but that all 
the creatures need Him. Neither hath He created the 
world for naught, but that His creatures should fear Him, 
and that none should do to his neighbour what he would not 
have done to himself.' They then said, ' Our father, hast 
thou, forsooth, seen us departing from thy ways, or from 
the ways of our fathers, either to the right or to the 
left ?' And he answered, ' God and I are witnesses that it 
is even as ye say ; but I dread only the future, that ye 
may not err after the gods of strange nations; that ye 
should not go in the ways of the peoples of the lands, and 
that you should not join the children of Joseph ; only 
the children of Levi and the children of Judah shall you 

(3) They said to him, ' What dost thou see that thou 
commandest us concerning it ?' He answered, ' Because 
I see that in the future the children of Joseph will 
depart from the Lord, the God of their fathers, and 
induce the children of Israel to sin, and will cause them 
to be banished from the good land into another that 
is not ours, as we have been exiled through him to the 
bondage of Egypt. I will also tell you the vision I have 
seen. WlienI was pasturing the flock I saw my twelve (?) 
brothers feeding with me in the field ; and lo, our father 
came, and said to us, "My children, go (run) and let 
everyone lay hold here before me on anything that he can 
get." And we answered, and said, " What shall we take 
possession of, as we do not see anything else but the sun, 
the moon, and the stars ?" And he said, " Take hold of 
them." When Levi heard it, he took a staff (rod) in his 
hands, and jumped upon the sun and rode on it. When 
Judah saw it, he did in like wise ; he also took a rod and 
jumped upon the moon, and rode on it. So also every one 


of the nine tribes rode upon his star and his planet in the 
heavens ; Joseph alone remained upon the earth. 

(4) ' Jacob, our father, said to him, " My son, why hast 
thou not done as thy brothers?" He answered, "What 
availeth the woman-born in heaven, as in the end he must 
needs stand upon the earth?" Whilst Joseph was speaking, 
behold there stood near by him a mighty bull with wings 
like the wings of a stork, and his horns were like unto the 
horns of the Eeem. And Jacob said to him, " Get up, my 
son Joseph, and ride upon him," And Joseph got up and 
mounted upon the bull. And Jacob left us. For about 
four hours Joseph gloried in the bull ; now he walked and 
ran, anon he flew up with him, till he came near to Judah, 
and with the staff he had in his hands he began to beat his 
brother Judah. Judah said to him, " My brother, why 
dost thou beat me ?" He answered, "Because thou boldest 
in thy hands twelve rods, and I have only one ; give them 
unto me, and then there will be peace." 

(5) ' But Judah refused to give them to him, and Joseph 
beat him till he had taken from him ten against his will, 
and had left only two wdth him. Joseph then said to his 
ten brothers, " Wherefore run ye after Judah and Levi ? 
Depart from them at once !" W^hen the brothers of Joseph 
heard his words, they departed from Judah and Levi like 
one man, and followed Joseph, and there remained with 
Judah only Benjamin and Levi. When Levi beheld this, 
he descended from the sun full of anger (sadness). And 
Joseph said unto Benjamin, " Benjamin, my brother, art 
thou not my brother ? Come thou also with me." But 
Benjamin refused to go with Joseph. When the day drew 
to an end, there arose a mighty storm, which separated 
Joseph from his brothers, so that no two were left together. 
When I beheld this vision, I related it unto my father Jacob, 
and he said unto me, " My son, it is only a dream, which 
will not come to pass (will neither ascend nor descend), for 
it hath not been repeated." 

(G) ' Not a long period, however, elapsed after that 
before I saw another vision. We w^ere standing all together 

90 [XXXVIII. 6 

with our father Jacob, at the shore of the Great Sea. And, 
behold, there was a ship saihng in the middle of the sea 
without a sailor and a man (pilot). Our father said to us, 
" Do ye see what I am seeing?" We answered, " We see 
it." He then said to us, " Look what I am doing, and do 
the same." He took off his clothes, threw himself into the 
sea, and we all followed him. The first were Levi and 
Judah and they jumped in (to the ship), and Jacob with 
them. In that ship there was all the goodness of the world. 
Jacob said, "Look at the mast and see what is written on 
it ; for there is no ship on which the name of the master 
should not be written on the mast." 

(7) ' Levi and Judah looked up, and they saw there was 
written, " This ship and all the good therein belongs to the 
son of Berakhel (the one whom God had blessed)." When 
Jacob heard that, he rejoiced very much, bowed down and 
thanked God, and said, "Not only hast Thou blessed me on 
earth, but Thou hast blessed me on the sea too !" He 
then said, " My children, be men, and whatever each one 
of you will seize, that shall be his share." Thereupon Levi 
ascended the big mast and sat upon it ; the second after him 
to ascend the other mast was Judah, and he sat upon it. 
My other brothers then took each his oar, and Jacob our 
father grasped the two rudders to steer the ship by them. 
Joseph alone was left, and Jacob said unto him, "My son 
Joseph, take thou also thine oar." But Joseph refused. 
When my father saw that Joseph refused to take his oar, 
he said unto him, " Come here, my son, and grasp one of 
the rudders which I hold in my hands, and steer the ship, 
whilst thy brothers row with the oars until you reach land." 
And he taught each one of us, and he said to us, " Thus ye 
shall steer the ship, and ye will not be afraid of the waves 
of the sea, nor of the blast of the wind when it shall rise 
against you.''' 

(8) ' When he had made an end of speaking, he dis- 
appeared from us. Joseph grasped both the rudders, one 
with the right hand and one with the left, and my other 
brothers were rowing, and the ship sailed on and floated 

xxxviii. 10] 91 

over the waters. Levi and Judah sat upon the mast to look 
out for the way (course) the ship was to take. As long as 
Joseph and Judah were of one mind, so that when Judah 
showed to Joseph which was the right way, Joseph accord- 
ingly directed thither the ship, the ship sailed on peaceably 
without hindrance. After a while, however, a quarrel arose 
between Joseph and Judah, and Joseph did not steer any 
longer the ship according to the words of his father, and to 
the teaching of Judah ; and the ship went wrong, and the 
waves of the sea dashed it on a rock, so that the ship 

(9) ' Levi and Judah then descended from the mast to 
save their lives, and every one of the brothers went to the 
shore to save himself. Behold, there came our father, 
Jacob, and found us cast about, one here and the other 
there. He said to us, " What is the matter with you, my 
sons? Have you not steered the ship as it ought to be 
steered, and as I had taught you ?" We answered, " By 
the life of thy servants, we did not depart from anything 
that thou hast commanded us, but Joseph transgressed the 
word (sinned in the affair), for he did not keep the ship 
right according to thy command, and as he was told (taught) 
by Judah and Levi, for he was jealous of them." And he 
(Jacob) said unto us, " Show me the place (of the ship)." 
And he saw, and only the tops of the masts were visible. 
But lo, the ship floated on the surface of the water. My 
father whistled, and we gathered round him. He again 
threw himself into the sea as before, and he healed (repaired) 
the ship, and entered it ; and he reproved Joseph, and 
said, "My son, thou shalt no more deceive and be jealous 
of thy brothers, for they were nearly lost through thee." 

(10) ' When I had told this vision to my father he 
clapped his hands and he sighed, and his eyes shed tears. 
I waited for awhile, but he did not answer. So I took the 
hand of my father to embrace it, and to kiss it, and I said 
to him, " servant of the Lord, why do thine eyes shed 
tears?" He answered, "My son, the repetition of thy 
vision hath made my heart sink within me, and my body 

92 [XXXVIII. 10 

is shaken with tremor by reason of my son Joseph, for I 
loved him above you all ; and for the wickedness of my son 
Joseph you will be sent into captivity, and you will be 
scattered among the nations. For thy first and second 
visions are both but one." I therefore command you not to 
unite (combine) with the sons of Joseph, but only with 
Levi and Judah. I further tell you that my lot will be in 
the best of the middle of the land, and ye shall eat and be 
satisfied with the choice of its products. But I warn you 
not to kick in your fatness and not to rebel and not to 
oppose the will of God, who satisfies you with the best of 
His earth ; and not to forget the Lord your God, the God 
of your fathers, who was chosen by our father Abraham 
when the nations of the earth were divided in the time of 

(11) ' At that time the Lord — blessed be He ! — came down 
from His high heavens, and brought down with Him seventy 
ministering angels, Michael being the first among them. He 
commanded them to teach the seventy descendants of Noah 
seventy languages. The angels descended immediately and 
fulfilled the command of their Creator. The holy language, 
the Hebrew, remained only in the house of Sem and Eber, 
and in the house of our father Abraham, who is one of their 

(12) ' On that day the angel Michael took a message 
from the Lord, and said to each of the seventy nations 
separately, "You know the rebellion you undertook and 
the treacherous confederacy into which you entered against 
the Lord of heaven and earth, now choose to-day whom 
you will worship and who shall be your Protector in 
heaven." Nimrod, the wicked, answered, " I do not know 
anyone greater than those who taught me and my nation 
the languages of Kush." In like manner answered also 
Put, and Mizraim, and Tubal, and Javan, and Meseh, and 
Tiras ; and every nation chose its own angel, and none of 
them mentioned the name of the Lord, blessed be He ! 

(13) ' But when Michael said unto our father Abraham, 
^' Abram, whom dost thou choose, and whom wilt thou 

XXXVITI. 15] 93 

worship?" Abram answered, " I choose and I will worship 
only Him who said and the world was created, Him who has 
created me in the womb of my mother, body within body, 
Him who has given unto me spirit and soul — Him I choose 
and to Him will I cling, I and my seed after me, all the days 
of the world." Then He divided the nations and apportioned 
to every nation its lot and share ; and from that time all 
the nations separated themselves from the Lord, blessed be 
He ! Only Abraham and his house remained with his Creator 
to worship Him, and after him Isaac and Jacob and myself. 
I therefore conjure you not to err and not to Avorship any 
other god than that one chosen by your fathers. 

(14) ' For ye shall know there is no other god like unto 
Him, and no other who can do like His works in heaven 
and on earth, and there is none to do such wondrous and 
mighty deeds like unto Him. A portion only of His power 
you can see in the creation of man ; how many remarkable 
wonders are there not in him ! He created him perfect from 
head to foot ; to listen with the ears, to see with the eyes, 
to understand with his brains, to smell with his nose, to 
bring forth the voice with his windpipe, to eat and drink 
with his gullet, to speak with his tongue, to pronounce with 
his mouth, to do work with his hands, to think with his 
heart, to laugh with his spleen, to be angry with his liver, 
to digest with his belly (stomach), to walk with his feet, to 
breathe with his lungs, to be counselled by his kidneys, and 
none of his members changes its function, but every one 
remains at its own. 

(15) 'It is therefore proper for man to bear in mind all 
these things — to remember who hath created him, and who 
it is that hath wrought him out of a drop in the womb of the 
woman, and who it is that bringeth him out into the light of 
the world, and who hath given him the sight of the eyes and 
the walking of the feet, and who stand eth him upright and 
hath given him intelligence for doing good deeds, and hath 
breathed into him a living soul and the spirit of purity. 
Blessed is the man who does not defile the Divine spirit 
which hath been put and breathed into him, and blessed is 

94 [XXXIX. 1 

he who returns it as pure as it was on the day when it was 
entrusted to (him by his) Creator.' 

These are the words of Naphtah, the son of Israel, which 
he (commended) to his sons ; they are sweeter than honey to 
the palate. 

XXXIX. (1) After these things the wife of his master 
raised her eyes unto Joseph. Potiphar's wife, his mistress, 
used to entice him every day by her conversation, and used to 
bedeck herself with all kinds of ornaments and array herself 
in many dresses in order to find favour in his eyes. But he 
prevailed over his inclination. It w^as for this strength of 
mind that he became worthy of being made king and ruler 
over Egypt. 

(2) One day all the Egyptian women assembled together 
to see Joseph's beauty. When Joseph was brought before 
them to wait upon them, his mistress offered each of them an 
apple and knife to peel it ; but when they started peeling 
their apples they all cut their hands, since they were so much 
captivated with Joseph's beauty that they could not take 
their eyes from him. She (Potiphar's wife) then said, ' If 
you do this after seeing him but for one hour, how much 
more should I be captivated who see him continually?' 

[Here I think it right to return to the book of Josippon 
at the place w^here we left, viz., the generations of Noah's 
sons. Josippon commenced to enumerate the generations 
of Adam, Seth, and Anosh, and gave a list of the names 
of the families of the children of Japheth, and the boundaries 
■of their lands until Kittim and Dudanim, as I have WTitten 
above, among the generations of Noah's sons. Afterwards 
he wrote the following, which I write down here, as it seems 
to belong to this portion.] 

XL. (1) It came to pass when the Lord scattered the 
sons of man all over the surface of the earth that they 
became separated into different companies. The Kittim 
formed one company, and encamping in the plain of 
Kapanya (Campania ^<^^:iQ3), they dwelt there by the river 
Tiberio (ij^nnn), while the children of Tubal encamped in 

XL. 4] 95 

Toscana (s:)DCnn), and their frontier was the river Tiberio. 
They built a city and called it Sabino (1^30), after the name 
of its builders. And the Kittim also built a city for them- 
selves, and called its name Posomanga (sjiidivid). Now, 
the children of Tubal were overbearing to the Kittim, and 
said, ' They shall not intermarry among us.' But it 
happened at the harvest time, when the children of Tubal 
had gone to their fields, that the young men of the Kittim 
gathered together, and, going to Sabino, they took their 
daughters captives, and then climbed the mountain of 
Kaporisio (ix^vniSD). As soon as the children of Tubal 
heard of this they arrayed themselves in battle against 
them, but could not prevail over them on account of the 
height of the mountain, so they gathered all the young 
warriors to the mountain. 

(2) In the next year the children of Tubal went out again 
to battle, but the Kittim brought up all the children that 
were born of their (Tubal's) daughters upon the wall which 
they had built, and said, ' You have come to fight against 
your own sons and daughters ; are we not now your own 
bone and flesh ?' At this they ceased fighting, and the 
Kittim gathered together and built a city by the sea which 
they called Porto (imia), and another which they called 
Albano (ijsn'ps), and yet another which they named 
Aresah (nvnx). 

(3) In those days Sefo (idv), the son of Eliphaz, fled 
from Egypt. Joseph had captured him when he went up 
to Hebron to bury his father. It was then that the children 
of Esau tried to entice him to evil, but Joseph prevailed 
over him and (capturing) Sefo from them, brought him to 
Egypt. After the death of Joseph, Sefo fled from Egypt, 
to Africa, to Agnias (ds^j:ix). King of Carthage, where he 
was received with great honour and appointed captain of 
the host. 

(4) At the same time there lived a man in the land of 
the Kittim, in the city of Posomanga (xjJDivia), named 
'Usi (»v"ii;). He was to the Kittim as a vain god. He died 
and left no son, but only one daughter, named lania (n&<>3^). 

96 [XL. 4 

She was beautiful and very wise, aior w^as the Kke of her 
beauty to be found in all the land. Agnias sought her for 
his wife, as did Turnus, King of Benevento (injnin) ; but 
they (the Kittim) said to the latter, ' We cannot give her to 
thee, because Agnias, King of Afriqia, seeks her ; we fear 
lest he wage war against us, and in that case thou couldst 
not deliver us from his power.' 

(5) The inhabitants of Posomanga (x^^roivis) then sent 
a letter to that effect to Agnias. Thereupon he mustered 
all his host and came to the island of Sardinia (&<^jnnD''N). 
Palos, his nephew, went out to meet him, and said, 
'When thou askest my father to come to thy assistance, 
ask him to appoint me the head of the army.' Agnias did 
so, and came into the province of Astiras (t^^s-l>nc♦^<) in ships. 
Turnus went out to meet him, and a very severe battle 
ensued in the valley Kapanya (Campania), in which Palos, 
his nephew, fell by the sword. Agnias then embalmed him, 
and having made a golden human image (mask ?), placed 
him therein. After that he once more set his men in battle 
array and captured Turnus (c^^miD), King of Benevento, 
and having slain him, made a mask (image) of brass, and 
placed him therein. He then built a tower in the highway 
in his honour, and another for Palos, his nephew, and called 
the one ' The tower of Palos,' and the other ' The tower of 
Turnus,' and the latter were separated by a marble pavement, 
which remains unto this day. They were built between 
Albano (iJnSi^) and Eome. Agnias then took lania to wife 
and returned to his own country. From that day hence- 
forth Gondalas (d6idi:) and the armies of the kings of Afriqia 
used to ravage the land of the Kittim for spoil and plunder, 
Sefo (isv) always accompanying them. 

(6) When this Sefo, the son of Eliphaz, travelled from 
Afriqia (x^pnsN) to the Kittim, the inhabitants received him 
with great honour, and presented him with many gifts so 
that he became very rich. And the troops of Afriqia 
(x^tsnas) spread themselves over all the land of the Kittim, 
and they having assembled, ascended the mountain of 
Kaporisio (Campo-Marzio ?) (us^vniDD) on account of the 

XL. 10] 97 

troops of Gondalos. (7) One day one of the herd of Sefo 
was missing, and after starting in search of it he heard the 
lowing of a bull in the neighbourhood of the mountain. 
On going to the bottom of the mountain, he discovered a 
cave with a great stone placed at its mouth. When he 
removed the stone he beheld to his surprise a huge animal 
devouring the bullock. From the middle downwards it 
presented the likeness of man, while from the middle 
upwards that of a goat. Sefo instantly sprang upon it, and 
split its head open. The inhabitants of Kittim then said, 
' What shall be done for the man who has slain the beast 
that continually devoured our cattle ?' On a festival day 
they assembled together and called his name Janus, after 
the name of the beast. They offered him drink offerings 
on that day and brought him meal offerings, and from that 
time they named the day ' The festival of Janus.' 

(8) When the troops of Gondalos once more invaded the 
land of the Kittim for plunder, as heretofore, Janus went 
out against them, and having smitten them and put them 
to flight, he delivered the land from their raids. The Kittim 
then assembled and appointed Sefo to the throne of the 
kingdom. The Kittim then went forth to subdue the 
children of Tubal and the nations round about. And 
Janus their king went before them and subdued them. 
After this Sefo was called Saturnus, in addition to Janus : 
Janus after the name of the beast, and Saturnus after the 
name of the star which they worshipped in those days, 
i.e., the planet ' Shabtai' (Saturnus). (9) He reigned at first 
in the valley of Kapanya, in the land of the Kittim, and 
built an exceedingly large temple there. He then extended 
his kingdom over the whole of the Kittim, and over all 
Italy. Janus Saturnus, after a reign of fifty-five years, 
died and was buried. 

(10) His successor was Piqos Faunos (l**ijind i^Mp^s), who 
reigned fifty years. He also erected a huge temple in the 
valley of Kapanya, and soon after died. His successor was 
named Latin us ; it was he who explained the language and 
its letters. He likewise built a temple for his dwelling, and 


98 [XL. 10 

many ships. He went to battle with Astrubel ('pnnnDs), the 
son of Agnias, whom lania bore him, in order to take his 
daughter Yaspisi ('•^^SD>) to wife, as Agnias had done to 
the Kittim when he took lania from them in battle. 
And this woman was very beautiful, so much so that the 
men of her generation weaved her image upon their clothes 
in honour of her beauty. A fierce battle ensued between 
Astrubel, King of the Carthaginians, and Latinus, King of 
Kittim, and Latinus captured the fountain of water which 
Agnias, when he took lania, had brought with her to 

(11) For lania the queen, when arriving there, was taken 
ill, and Agnias and his servants were sorely grieved. Agnias 
said to his wise men, 'How can I cure lania's illness?' 
His servants replied, ' The air of our land is not like unto 
that of Kittim, nor our waters like theirs. Therefore the 
queen is ill through the change of air and water, for in 
her own land she only drank the water drawn from Forma 
(no-na), which her ancestors drew upon bridges (aque- 
ducts).' Agnias then ordered his ministers (princes) to 
bring water from Forma in Kittim in a vessel. They weighed 
these waters against all the waters of Africa, and found 
that only those of Goqar (nplj) corresponded with them. 
Agnias then ordered his princes to gather together stone- 
masons by thousands and myriads. So they hewed a 
vast number of stones for building; and, being in great 
numbers, they built a bridge (an aqueduct) from the 
fountain of the water as far as Carthage. All these waters 
were for the sole use of lania, who used them for drinking, 
baking, washing clothes, ordinary washing, and for water- 
ing all the seeds which provided her food. They also 
brought earth from Kittim in many ships, as well as stones 
and bricks, and they built therewith temples. All this 
they did for the great love they bore her, for through her 
wiles she charmed the people, and through her they called 
themselves blessed, and she was to them as a goddess. 

(12) Now, it happened when Latinus waged war with 
Astrubel that he overthrew part of the bridge, so that the 

XL. 15] 99 

troops of Gondalos were exceedingly furious, and fought 
desperately. Astrubel being mortally wounded, Latinus 
by main force captured Yaspisi (^^i'^DD^), his daughter, for 
his wife. He brought her to Kittim and made her queen. 
And Latinus reigned forty-five years. 

(13) When Latinus died, Anias reigned in his stead 
for three years, and, after his death, Asqinus (Ascanias, 
D^rpDS) reigned thirty-eight years. He also built a large 
temple. After him Seliaqos (Dipi^^'pD) reigned twenty- 
nine years, and he built a large temple. After his death 
Latinus, who reigned for fifty years, succeeded him. This 
was the king who fought with Almania (i<^3?o*?x) and 
Burgunia (i<''j:"ii2), the sons of Elisa (nc'^'px), whom he took 
as tribute. He built a temple to ' Lusifer ' (navi'?), i.e., 
Nogah, and closed that of Saturnus, which was ' the Temple 
of Shabbetai.' He passed his priests through the fire on 
the altar of his temple, dedicated to ' Lusifer.' 

(14) After the death of Latinus, Anias Trognos (Tar- 
quinius) reigned in his stead thirty-three years. He also 
erected a temple to Saturn. After him Alba reigned 
thirty-nine years. When he died, Avisianos (D"l:^<*':;^n^*) 
reigned for twenty-four years, and built a large temple. 
After him Qapis (D^sxp) reigned twenty-eight years, and 
built a temple. After him Karpitos (Dio^anp) reigned for 
twenty-three years, and built a temple. After him Tiberios 
reigned for eight years. Agrippa reigned after him for 
forty years. Komulus succeeded him, and reigned nine 
years, during which time he built several temples. After 
him Abtinos reigned for thirty- seven years. This is the king 
who waged war with the children of Eifath, who dwelt by 
the Lira (t^n^'p), and with the sons of Turnus, who dwelt 
in Toronia (s^^mo) by the river Lira. It was they who 
fled from Agnias, King of Afriqi {'P'l^^), and who built 
Purnus (C'jiid) and Anba (sa^s). These Abtinos brought 
to submission. After him Procas (L'Spns) reigned twenty- 
three years; and after him .Emilius reigned for forty- 
three years. 

(15) After his death Komulus reigned for thirty-eight 


100 [XL. 16 

years. In his days David smote the land of Syria, so that 
Hadarezer and his sons fled into the land of the Kittim. 
He there obtained a place on the seashore and a place on 
the mountain. He there built a city, and called its name 
Sorento (iD^-nD). (16) At that place there dwelt a young 
man of a descendant of the family of Hadarezer, who had 
fled from David. He built the old city Albano (i^nSs), 
where his posterity dwell unto this day. But within the 
city of Sorento (iD3-nD) a well of oil sprung up, and after 
some years the city subsided, and the sea swept over it, 
i.e., between Napoli (^'pissi) and New Sorento ; yet the well 
did not cease from flowing, for until this very day the oil 
bubbles and rises upon the waters of the sea, while the 
inhabitants are continually collecting it. 

(17) Eomulus was greatly afraid of David. He therefore 
built a wall higher than any other wall hitherto erected by 
any king that preceded him, and he surrounded all the 
mountains and hills round about with this wall. Its 
length was forty-five miles, and he called the name of the 
city Koma, after the name of Eomulus. And they yet con- 
tinued to be greatly afraid of David. He made the name 
of the Kittim great, and they called the place Eomania 
(nt^'-^nin), as it is called unto this very day. He built a 
temple in honour of Jovis, i.e., ' Sedek,' and removed that 
dedicated to ' Lusifer.' And Eomulus waged great wars. 
He also made a covenant with David. (18) After the 
death of Eomulus, Numa Popilios reigned in his stead 
forty-one years. After him Polios (D^^^^'?^^) reigned for 
thirty -two years. After him Tarkinos (D^^^sm) reigned 
for thirty-seven years. After his death Servios (Dli^nt'O 
reigned thirty - four years. After him Tarkinos reigned. 
This Tarkinos was he who fell in love with a Eoman 
woman. But as she was already married, he took her l^y 
force. The woman was thereat grieved, and she stabbed 
herself with a dagger and met her death. Her brothers 
rose up, and, going to the temple of Jovis, they lay in 
wait for Tarkinos. When he came to pray they fell upon 
him with drawn swords and killed him. 

XLI. 2] 101 

(19) On that day the Eomans took an oath that no king 
should henceforth reign in Kome. They then selected 
seventy Koman counsellors and appointed them to rule 
and to guide the kingdom. ' The Old Man ' and his seven 
counsellors then ruled over them and subdued all the West. 

(20) After the lapse of 205 years battles were fought by 
sea and land between Babylon and Eome, because the 
Komans assisted Greece when the Greeks fought with 
Babylon. At that time, when they rebelled, they caused 
the Tiber to flow into other channels, and made a bottom 
to the river from one gate (of Eome) to the other, from its 
entrance to its exit, a distance of eighteen miles, all of 
which covered with brass, from the gate of Eome where it 
flows into the sea until the gate where it takes its source, 
a distance of eighteen miles, for three-fourths of the people 
were on one side of the river and one-fourth on the other 
side. The river flowed in the midst of the city, and the 
inhabitants of Eome paved its bed. No ships or boats of 
the King of Babylon could henceforth enter. The Eomans 
feared and trembled, as they had heard that the King of 
Babylon had captured Jerusalem. They sent him presents 
by messengers, and made a treaty after that war so that 
wars ceased between them until the reign of Darius the Mede. 

[Thus far the narrative of Josippon. After this Josippon 
wrote of the kingdom of Darius and Cyrus, and the book of 
the Maccabees, and of the kings who lived during the time 
of the second temple until its destruction. I shall, with 
the help of God, write it all in its proper place just as it is 
written in the book of Josippon until the end.] 

XLI. (1) I also find that during the first temple, in 
the time of Jotham, King of Judah, two brothers, Eemus 
and Eomilus, arose who were the first kings of Eome. 
They reigned thirty-eight years. (2) I also find in 'Sober 
Tob ' that their mother from the pains of travail died at 
their birth, and that God appointed a she-wolf to suckle 
them until they were grown up. Eomulus built the city 
of Eoma. He, the first king, then appointed 100 elders as 

102 [XLI. 3 

counsellers. He also built a temple in Eome, and erected 
the ^Yalls of Eome. (3) After him, Huma (Numa) Pompilios 
(i;M5<^'"?^spiD so-in) reigned for forty-one years. This Huma 
Pompilios added two months to the year, viz., Januarius 
and Febrius (K^li<n3S), for the Romans had originally 
but ten months to the year. After him Tullus Ostihus 
(Dis^S^tOL-iwX) reigned for thirty-t^YO years. This Tullus, King 
of Rome, was the first to clothe himself in purple robes. 
(4) These are the seven kings that reigned in Rome: 
1. Romulus; 2. Numa Pompilius ; 3. Tullus Ostilius ; 
4. Ancus Marcus ; 5. Tarquinius Priscus ; 6. Servius 
(c♦••lS^n-lL^') ; 7. Tarquinus (C'-i^npii?). Their rule over Rome 
lasted altogether 240 years. After them Rome remained 
without a king for 464 years until the reign of Julius 

[Here finishes the ' Book of Genealogies.' I now com- 
mence the ' Chronicles of Moses, our Teacher.'] 

XLH. (1) From the time that Jacob and his sons came 
to the land of Goshen, there reigned in it certain shepherds, 
for the land of Egypt was divided into three kingdoms, 
viz., the land of Ramses, where the Tibei {'^'T^) reigned. 
This was situated at the extreme end of Egypt. The 
Israelites built this town, which was afterwards called 
Ramses on account of the evil (yi, Ra) and the tribute (d*o, 
Mas) which were imposed upon the Israelites. The former 
name of the city was Heroes (^'^^n^n). Another capital 
was Mof, that is Menfis (^''by^), for Apis, King of Egypt, 
built it, and was made a god because Jovis, the god of 
Egypt, revealed himself to them in the form of a calf and 
a ram, and therefore they called him Sarapis. On this 
account shepherds were the abomination of Egypt in the 
land of Menfis, Nof, Pathros, and Tahpanhes, for the 
Egyptians did not eat sheep or rams because they 
worshipped them as gods. But the land of Goshen was 
the kingdom of the shepherds in honour of Joseph and 
Jacob and his sons, all of whom were shepherds. 

(2) Now, a new king arose in Egypt who did not know 

XLII. 3] 103 

Joseph and his good deeds. This ^Yas Pharaoh Amenofis 
(:r^?trp5<). In his days there arose in the air the Kkeness 
of an ox. On its right side it had a mark resembling 
the moon, from which there issued sparks. When it arose 
in the morning with the smi, it used to fly in the air of 
the heaven. All the Egyptians worshipped it, and praised 
it with every kind of song. When it moved they also 
moved, and when it stood they also stood. The ox used 
also to sing hymns. This it did once in each year. It 
became a festival day in Egypt, and they called it the day 
of Sarapis. On account of this, the Israelites afterwards 
made the calf in the wilderness, as it is said, ' And he 
passed through the sea of affliction.' 

(3) Then he (Pharaoh) said to his people, ' Behold the 
people of Israel are becoming mightier and stronger than 
we ; and the Egyptians envy and hate them on account of 
the multitude of their families, the greatness of their riches, 
and their mighty strength. Come, let us take counsel 
lest they multiply, and let us appoint rulers over Israel, 
and taskmasters over these rulers from among our own 
people, for the purpose of subjecting them to rigorous 
servitude, and let us further appoint tax-gatherers over 
them that they may be reduced to poverty.' And they 
built store-cities for Pharaoh, Pithom and Piamses, great 
cities which stood on the border of Pithom at the extremity 
of the land of Egypt, and Piamses at the other extremity. 
In these two cities were the stores of the king and his 
implements of war. They were built in such a manner 
that no one could possibly enter or go out of the land of 
Egypt without the king's knowledge. And the Egyptians 
enslaved the Israelites with rigour ; they appointed task- 
masters, who beat them to obtain the taxes. They 
embittered their lives with hard bondage, in that they had 
to dig all the channels in the land of Egypt, and to carry 
the manure upon their shoulders in pots and in baskets to 
manure the fields, as it is said, 'I shall remove the burden 
of manure from his shoulder, and his hands shall be 
removed from the pots.' They had to cleanse all the 

104 [XLII. 4 

channels of the land on account of the Nile, which filled 
them once in forty years. 

(4) The Egyptians decreed three kinds of punishment 
against Israel. One was to embitter their lives ; the 
second to impose upon them the slavery in the field ; and 
the third to cast all their males into the river, for they 
said to King Pharaoh Amenofis, ' We shall slay the males 
that they may not increase, and allow the females to live 
to be our servants and our wives, and the males that we 
beget from them shall be our slaves.' On this account 
their misery went up before the Lord. And it came to 
pass when the time of the pregnancy of the women had 
almost come to an end, they w^ent out in the field and 
there gave birth to their children, and they left them in 
the field. The Lord then sent an angel, who wvashed the 
children and placed in their hand two stones, from one of 
which they sucked milk, and from the other honey. When 
the children were weaned they returned to their father's 
house. When the Egyptians saw the children in the field, 
they tried to take them away, but the earth opened its mouth 
and swallow^ed them up. The Egyptians brought their 
ploughshares and ploughed the field over them, but could 
not harm them, for the Lord had saved them. 

(5) The elders and all the people then gathered together, 
wept and wailed, saying, ' It would have been better had 
our wives been barren, for the fruit of the womb has now 
been annihilated. Now let no man approach his wife 
for some time ; for it is preferable to die childless than to 
see our children defiled by the Gentile, until we know what 
the Lord will do.' Now Amram answered and said, 'Are 
you willing to destroy by obstinacy or with premeditation 
the world? But even when misery has reached the bottom of 
the abyss the seed of Israel will not be destroyed ; for the 
Lord has sworn to Abraham to afiiict his seed for 400 years, 
and behold from the time of the covenant between the pieces 
which God made with Abraham, 350 years have already 
passed, and 130 years of these we have been slaves in 
Egypt. Now I shall not abide by your counsel, to fix a time 

XLII. 8] 105 

for God's intercession, and to restrain my wife from helping 
to peoi3le the world, for the anger of the Lord will not last 
for ever, nor will He forsake His people for ever, nor has 
He made the covenant with our ancestors in vain, neither 
has He increased the seed of Israel to no purpose. 

(6) ' Now I shall therefore go to my wife according to the 
commandment of God, and, if it is pleasing to you, do you 
act likewise, and it shall come to pass when our wives shall 
conceive, that they shall conceal the fruit of their concep- 
tion for three months, just as Tamar, our mother, did. 
She did not designedly go astray, for she said, "It is better 
for me to die than to mix with the heathen." She there- 
fore concealed the fruit of her womb for three months and 
then confessed. Now let us do likewise, even we. And 
when the time of bearing comes to an end, we shall not 
withhold the fruit of our womb, for perchance the Lord 
will be zealous, and save us from our affliction.' 

(7) The advice of Amram seemed good in the eyes of 
God, and He said to him, ' Thy words are pleasing in My 
sight. Therefore there shall be born to thee a son who 
shall be My servant for ever, who shall perform wonders 
in the house of Jacob, and signs and miracles among the 
people. And I shall show him My glory, and make My 
ways known to him. In him I shall cause My Hght to 
burn, and shall teach him My statutes and laws. I shall 
lead him on the high places of My righteousness and My 
judgments, and through him shall the light of the world 
be kindled. Of him have I thought from the beginning when 
I said, "My spirit shall not strive any longer with man, since 
he is to be in the flesh. His days shall be 120 years." ' 

(8) Amram, of the tribe of Levi, went forth and took 
Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, to wife. All the people 
likewise took to them wives. And Amram begat a son and 
daughter, Aaron and Miriam. And the spirit of the Lord 
came upon Miriam so that she had a dream in the night. 
She told her father, saying, ' In the night I saw a man 
clothed in fine linen. " Tell thy father and mother," he 
said, " that whatever is born to thee in the night will be 

106 [XLII. 9 

cast upon the waters, and by him the waters shall become 
dry. And through him shall wonders and miracles be per- 
formed, and he shall save My people Israel, and he shall 
be their leader for ever." ' This dream Miriam told her 
father and mother. But they did not believe it. 

(9) Now, Jochebed had conceived for six months, and in 
the seventh month she bore a son. They could no longer 
conceal him, for the Egyptians had made houses by which 
they knew of the birth of a child. They therefore made 
a little ark, and placed the child among the bulrushes. 
The elders then said to Am ram, ' Did we not say to thee 
"It is better for us to die childless than to see the fruit of 
our womb cast into the sea " ? ' Then said Amram to his 
daughter Miriam, * Where is thy prophecy ?' So his sister 
stood a little distance off to know what would become of 
the child. And Pharaoh's daughter went down to wash. 
And she took the child and adopted him as a son. 

The Chronicles of Moses. 

XLIII. (1) In the 130th year after the Israelites had 
gone down to Egypt, Pharaoh dreamt a dream. While he 
was sitting on the throne of his kingdom he lifted up his 
eyes, and beheld an old man standing before him. In his 
hand he held a pair of scales as used by merchants. The 
old man then took the scales and, holding them up before 
Pharaoh, he laid hold of all the elders of Egypt and its 
princes, together with all its great men, and, having bound 
them together, placed them in one pan of the scales. After 
that he took a milch goat, and, placing it in the other pan, 
it outweighed all the others. Pharaoh then awoke, and it 
was a dream. 

(2) Eising early next morning, he called all his servants, 
and told them the dream. They were sorely frightened by 
it, and one of the king's eunuchs said, ' This is nothing else 
than the foreboding of a great evil about to fall upon 
Egypt.' On hearing this the king said to the eunuch,. 
' What will it be ?' And the eunuch replied, ' A child will 
be born in Israel, who will destroy all the land of Egypt. 

XLIII. 5] 107 

If it is pleasing to the king, let the royal command go forth 
in all the land of Egypt that every male born among the 
Hebrews should be slain, so that this evil be averted from 
the land of Egypt. 

(3) The king did so, and accordingly sent for the Hebrew 
mid wives, one of whom was named Shifrah, and another 
Puah, and said to them, ' When the Hebrew women give 
birth, and ye see upon the stools that it is a son, ye slay it ; 
but if a daughter, then let it live.' But the midwives feared 
God, and did not act according to the king's word, but let 
the males live. The king, therefore, summoned the mid- 
wives, and said to them, ' Why have ye done this thing, 
and kept the males alive ?' And the midwives answered 
Pharaoh, saying, ' The Hebrew women are not like the 
Egyptian women, for they are like the free animals of the 
field which do not require midwives ; before the midwives 
come to them the children are born.' 

(4) When Pharaoh saw that he could not do anything 
with them, he commanded all his people, saying, ' Every 
male that is born ye shall cast into the river ; but all the 
females ye shall keep alive.' When the Israelites heard this 
command of Pharaoh to cast their males into the river, 
some of the people separated from their wives, while others 
remained with them. It came to pass, about the time of 
childbirth, that the women went out into the field, and the 
Lord, who swore to their ancestors that He w^ould multiply 
them, sent them an angel, one of his ministers, who was 
appointed over childbirth, to wash it, and rub it with salt ; 
and the angel bound it in swaddling clothes, and placed in 
the child's hand two smooth stones, from the one of which 
it sucked milk, and from the other honey. God also caused 
its hair to grow down to its knees, so as to be well covered 
by it ; and the angel rocked it caressingly. 

(5) And when God had compassion upon them and 
sought to increase them upon the face of the whole land. 
He commanded the earth to sw^allow the children up, and 
protect them until they grew up, after which time it should 
open its mouth and let them go forth so that they should 

108 [XLIII. 6 

sprout as the grass of the field, and as the young trees of 
the forest. Then they would return to their families, and 
to the house of their fathers, where they would remain. 
(6) Accordingly, it happened that after the earth had 
swallowed up, through the mercy of God, the males born of 
the house of Jacob, that the Egyptians went out into the 
field to plough with teams of oxen and with the plough- 
share. They worked (ploughed) upon them as the spoiler 
in time of the harvest. But although they ploughed never 
so hard they were unable to injure them, and thus they 
increased abundantly. 

[Another Version. — It came to pass at the time of birth 
that they left their children in the field, and the Lord, who 
swore to their ancestors that He would cause them to inherit 
the land, tamed for them the beasts of the field, and 
sustained and reared them, as it is said, ' And the beasts of 
the field were at peace with thee.' When the Egyptians 
saw that they (the Israelites) left their sons in the field, 
and that the wild beasts helped them, and led them in the 
forests until they had grown to manhood, they said, ' These 
have surely reared them in the caverns and vaults of the 
earth,' and each of them brought their ploughshare and 
their plough, and ploughed above them, etc.] 

XLIV. (1) There was a Levite in the land of Egypt whose 
name was Amram, the son of Qehath, the son of Levi, the 
son of Jacob. This man betrothed Jochebed, the daughter 
of Levi, the sister of his father, and she conceived and bare 
a daughter, and called her name Miriam (the bitter), because 
in those days people began to embitter the lives of the 
Israelites. She conceived again and bare a son, whose 
name she called Aaron (pregnancy), because during the 
time of her pregnancy Pharaoh began to shed the blood of 
their males upon the ground, and to cast them into the 
river of Egypt. When, however, the word of the king and 
his decree became known respecting the casting of their 
males into the river, many of God's people separated from 
their wives, as did Amram from his wife. 

(2) After the lapse of three years the Spirit of God came 

XLIV. 5] 109 

upon Miriam, so that she went forth and prophesied in the 
house, saying, ' Behold, a son shall be born to my mother 
and father, and he shall rescue the Israelites from the 
hands of the Egyptians.' When Amram heard his young 
daughter's prophecy he took back his wife, from whom he 
had separated in consequence of Pharaoh's decree to destroy 
all the male line of the house of Jacob. After three years 
of separation he went to her and she conceived. And it 
came to pass at the end of six months from the time of her 
conception that she bare a son. The whole house was at 
that moment filled with a great light, as the light of the 
sun and the moon in their splendour. The woman saw 
that the child was good and beautiful to behold, so she hid 
him in an inner room for three months. 

(3) At that time the Egyptian women took secret counsel 
together to destroy the Hebrew women ; they, therefore, 
went to the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were 
carrying their little children who could not speak upon their 
shoulders. The Hebrew women then hid their children 
from the Egyptians, so that their existence might not 
become known to them, in order to preserve them from 
destruction and annihilation. The Egyptian women came 
thus to Goshen with their children who could not speak, 
and when one of them came into the house of the Hebrew 
she made her own child chatter in the child's language, 
and the hidden child, hearing it, replied in the same manner. 
The Egyptian women thereupon went to Pharaoh's house 
to tell him of it, and Pharaoh sent his officers to slay those 

(4) After that child (Moses) had been hidden now for 
three months and it thus became known to Pharaoh, the 
mother took the child and placed it in a little ark of 
bulrushes, which she daubed with slime and with pitch. 
She then hurriedly placed the child among the flags by 
the river's brink, while his sister stood at a distance to wit 
what would be done to him. 

(5j God then sent drought and great heat in the land 
of Egypt, so that it burnt one's very flesh upon him just 

110 [XLIV. G 

as when the sun is m its strength. The Egyptians 
were therefore sorely troubled. Pharaoh's daughter went 
down by the river-side to bathe, as did all the Egyptian 
women, on account of the heat and the drought. Her 
handmaids and all Pharaoh's concubines went with her. 
While thus occupied, she beheld the ark floating on the 
water, and sent her handmaid to fetch it. On opening the 
box, she discovered the child. It began to cry, and she had 
pity upon it, and said, ' This is one of the Hebrew children.' 
(6) At this the Egyptian women by the river came up for 
the purpose of suckling it, but it refused to take them. 
God wished to return it to the breast of its mother. The 
child's sister Miriam then said to Pharaoh's daughter, 
' Shall I go and call a Hebrew nurse to suckle the child ?' 
'Yes,' said she. And she forthwith called the child's own 
mother. Then said Pharaoh's daughter, ' Take this child 
and suckle it for me, and I will give thee as a reward a 
monthly wage of two pieces of silver ;' so the woman took 
the child and nursed it. (7) After two years she brought 
it to Pharaoh's daughter, who adopted it, and she called its 
name Moses, ' for from the waters I drew him.' But his 
father called him ' Heber,' because for his sake he joined his 
wife again from whom he had separated himself ; while his 
mother called him 'Yequtiel,' because *I placed my hope in 
God the Almighty,' and He returned him to her. His sister 
called him ' Yered,' because she went down to the river 
after him to know what his end would be ; while his brother 
called him 'Abi Zanoah,' saying, 'My father separated 
from my mother, but returned to her on account of this 
child.' Kehath, his grandfather, named him 'Abigedor,' 
because for his sake God closed up the breach of the house 
of Jacob, so that they no more cast the children into the 
water. His nurse called him ' Abi Sokho,' saying that he 
was hidden in a tent (or box) for three months out of fear 
of the descendants of Ham ; and all Israel called him ' Ben 
Nethanel,' because in his days God heard their groaning. 

(8) In the third year of Moses' birth, when Pharaoh was 
sitting at his meal, with his mistress on his right hand, his 

XLIV. llj 111 

daughter on his left, and the child in her lap, and all the 
princes of the kingdom sitting round the table, it happened 
that the child stretched out his hand, and, taking the crown 
from the king's head, placed it upon his own. The king and 
the princes, on seeing this, were confused and exceedingly 
astonished. (9) Then Balaam, the enchanter, one of the 
king's eunuchs, said,'/ Eememberest thou, my lord the king, 
the dream which thou didst dream and the interpretation 
thy servant gave it ? Now, is this not one of the children 
of the Hebrews in whom the spirit of God is? By his 
wisdom he has done this and has chosen for himself the 
kingdom of Egypt. Thus did Abraham, who weakened 
the power of Nimrod, the King of the Chaldeans, and 
Abimelech, King of Gerar, and inherited the land of the 
children of Heth and all the kingdoms of Canaan. He 
also went down to Egypt, and said of his wife, " She is 
my sister," for the purpose of placing a stumbling-block 
in the way of the Egyptians and their king. Isaac did 
the same in Philistia when he sojourned in Gerar. He 
grew stronger than all the Philistines. Their king he 
also wished to lead astray when he said of his wife, 
" She is my sister." Jacob also went stealthily and 
took away his only brother's birthright and his blessing 
withal. He then went to Padan Aram, to the house of 
Laban, his maternal uncle, and by his cunning obtained 
his daughters, his cattle, and all that he had. He then 
fled to the land of Canaan. (10) His sons again sold Joseph 
into Egypt, where he was put in prison for two years, until 
the Pharaoh before thee dreamt dreams. He was then 
taken from prison and appointed over the princes of Egypt, 
on account of the interpretation of these dreams. When 
God brought a famine upon the land he brought his father 
and his brothers to Egypt. He maintained them without 
paying for it, and us he bought for slaves. If, now, it seems 
good to the king, let us shed the blood of this child, lest, 
when he grows up, he take the kingdom from thy hands, 
and Egypt perish.' 

(11) God at that moment sent one of his angels, named 

112 [XLIV. 12 

Gabriel, who assumed the form of one of them. ' If 
it pleaseth the king,' said the angel, ' let onyx stones and 
live-coals be brought and placed before the child, and 
it shall come to pass, if he stretches forth his hand to 
the coals, then know that he has not done this by his 
wisdom, and let him live.' This thing being good in the 
eyes of the king and the princes, they acted according to 
the word of the angel, and they brought him the onyx and 
the coals. The angel then placed the child's hand near 
the coal so that his fingers touched it. He lifted it to his 
mouth and burnt his lips and his tongue, so that he became 
heavy of speech. The king and the princes then desisted 
from killing the child. (12) He lived for fifteen years 
afterwards in the king's palace, clothed in garments of 
purple, for he was reared together with the king's sons. 
When he was in his eighteenth year the lad longed for his 
parents, and consequently went to them. He went out to 
his brethren in the field and looked upon their burdens. He 
there saw an Egyptian smite one of his Hebrew brethren. 
When the man that was beaten saw Moses he ran to him 
for help, for Moses was a greatly-honoured man in 
Pharaoh's house. He said to him, '0 my Lord, this 
Egyptian came into my house in the night and, binding me 
with cords, went to my wife in my very presence, and he 
now seeks my life.' When Moses heard this evil deed he 
was exceedingly angry, and, turning this way and that to 
see that nobody was looking, he smote the Egyptian and 
hid him in the sand. He thus saved the Hebrew from the 
hand of the Egyptian. (13) Moses then returned to the 
palace, and the Hebrew to his house. When the man 
returned to his house he told his wife that he wished to 
divorce her, because it was not right for one of the house of 
Jacob to lie with his wife after she had been defiled. So 
the woman went out and told her brothers, who thereupon 
sought to kill him, but he fled into his house, and thus 

(14) On the next day Moses went out to his brethren, and, 
seeing that some were quarrelling, he said to the wicked 

XLV. 2] 113 

one, ' Why dost thou beat thy neighbour ?' But one of 
them retorted, * Who made thee to be a prmce and judge 
over us ? Wilt thou slay us as thou didst slay the 
Egyptian?' Moses by this perceived that the thing was 
already known. (15) Pharaoh immediately got to hear of 
it, and ordered Mo'ses to be slain. But God sent Michael, 
the captain of His heavenly host, in the likeness of the 
chief butcher (slayer). He then took his sword and severed 
the head of the chief butcher, for his face was changed to 
the exact likeness of Moses. The angel then took hold of 
Moses' hand, and, bringing him forth from Egypt, placed 
him outside its border, a distance of forty days' journey. 
But Aaron yet remained in Egypt, who prophesied to the 
Israelites in the midst of the Egyptians, saying, ' Cast away 
from you the abominations of the Egyptians, and do not 
defile yourselves with their idols.' But the Israelites 
rebelled and would not listen. The Lord then said that 
He would have destroyed them, were it not that He remem- 
bered the covenant He had made with Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob. But the hand of Pharaoh was constantly becoming 
heavier upon the Israelites, so that he persecuted and 
oppressed them until God sent forth His word and 
redeemed them. 

XLY. (1) At that time a war broke out between Cush 
on the one side and the people of Qedem (East) and Syria 
on the other ; for these rebelled against the King of Cush. 
Qinqanos, King of Cush, then went out to war against the 
other two nations, and smote Syria and the East. He took 
many captives and made them submit to Cush. (2) When 
Qinqanos went out to war against Syria and the people of 
the East he left behind Bala am the enchanter, i.e,, Laban 
the Aramean, who came from Caphtor, together with his 
two sons, Janis and Jambris, to guard the city and the 
poor people. But Bala'am counselled the people to rebel 
against Qinqanos, so that he should not be able to come 
into the city. The people, Hstening to him, swore to 
act accordingly. Him they made king over them, and 
his two sons they appointed as captains of the host of 


114 [XLV. 3 

the people. On two sides of the city they raised very 
high walls, while on the third side they dug an innumer- 
able number of pits between the city and the river that 
surrounds the whole land of Gush, and from there the 
people drew into them the waters of the river. On the 
fourth side they collected by their wiles and witchcraft an 
immense number of serpents, so that no one could approach 

(3) When the king and all the captains of the army 
returned from the war and saw the very high walls of the 
cit}^ they were greatly astonished, and said, ' Behold, wdiile 
we have been detained at w^ar, they have built walls to the 
city and strengthened themselves to prevent the Canaanitish 
kings from waging war against them.' But w4ien they came 
near the city and discovered that the gates were closed, they 
shouted to the keepers, ' Open the gates for us, that w^e may 
enter the city.' But they refused to open them, just as 
Bala'am the enchanter had ordered them, and would not 
allow them to enter the city. They therefore drew up their 
line of battle opposite the gate, and fought so that on that 
day there fell 130 men of Qinqanos's army. On the second 
day they fought on the side of the river. But when thirty 
cavalrymen tried to cross they sank into the pits and were 
drowned. The king then commanded them to hew some 
wood, which they were to use as rafts upon ^yhich to cross, 
and they did so. When, however, they came to the w^alls, 
the rafts rolled from under them like a mill, and on that 
day 200 men that had gone upon ten rafts were sunk in 
the wells. On the third day they w^ent on that side of the 
city where the serpents lay, but they dared not approach. 
After 170 men had been killed by these serpents they ceased 
fighting against Gush. They besieged it for nine years, so 
that no one went out or entered the city. 

(4) During this siege Moses, having fled from Egypt, 
came to the camp of Qinqanos, the King of Gush. He was 
then but eighteen years old. This young man entered 
their ranks, and was much beloved by the king, the princes, 
and all the army, because he w^as mighty and beautiful. 

XLV. 6] 115 

His height was hke the cedar and his face hke the rising 
sun, and his strength Hke that of a Hon. He was therefore 
made the king's counseUor. It came to pass after nine 
years that the Cushite king was seized with an iHness by 
which he died, so that after seven days Qinqanos departed 
this Hfe. His servants embahned him, and buried him 
opposite the gate of the city looking towards Egypt. There 
they erected a beautiful building and a very high temple, 
and engraved upon the stones his arms and the record of 
his mighty deeds. 

(5) When they had completed the building, they said to 
each other, ' What shall we now do ? If we try to get into 
the city and fight there wall be many more of us slain than 
before. If we give up the siege, then all the Syrian kings 
and those of the East, having heard of the death of our 
king, will come upon us suddenly, and none of us will be 
left. Now, let us appoint a king over us, and we shall then 
continue the siege until the city falls into our hands.' 
They then hastily stripped themselves of their garments, 
and, casting them upon the ground, they made a large 
platform, upon which they placed Moses. They then blew 
the trumpets, and exclaimed, ' Long live the king !' And 
all the princes and all the people took the oath of obedience 
to him, and gave him a Cushite wife, the widow of Qinqanos. 
They then crowned him King of Gush. He was twenty- 
seven years old when he was made king. 

(6) On the second day of his reign they all assembled 
before the king, and said, ' If it is pleasing to the king, give 
us advice what to do. For these last nine years we have 
not seen our wives nor our sons, but have remained in the 
siege.' The king then answered the people, saying, ' Be 
certain that the city will be delivered into our hands if you 
hearken to my advice. Now, if we fight with them, many 
of us will fall as at first, and if we determine to cross the 
water we shall fare similarly. Now, go to the forest, and 
let each one bring a young stork, which he shall keep until 
it has grown up and be taught to hunt just as the hawk.' 
The people immediately hastened to the forest, and, climb- 


116 [XLV. 7 

ing the fir-trees, they each brought the young (of the 
stork) in then- hands according to the king's word. 

(7) When the young storks had grown up, the king com- 
manded them to starve them for two days, and on the third 
day he said to them, ' Let each man put on his armour and 
harness the horses and mules to the chariots ; and when 
each man has taken his stork in his hand, let us rise and 
war against the city on the side where the serpents are 
lying.' This they did. When they approached the place, 
the king said, ' Let each send forth his young stork.' As 
soon as they did so the storks flew upon the serpents and 
devoured them, thus ridding the place of them. 

(8) When the king and the people saw that the serpents 
had disappeared they raised a great shout, fought against 
the city, and captured it, so that each man went to his own 
house, to his own wife, and to his goods. On that day 
1,100 inhabitants were killed, but of the besiegers not one. 
When Bala am the enchanter saw that the city was taken, 
opening the gate, he and his two sons fled away upon their 
horses to Egypt, to Pharaoh, King of Egypt. These were 
the magicians and the wizards, as it is written in the 
' Sefer Hayashar ' (Book of the Just = Bible), that coun- 
selled Pharaoh to wipe out the name of Jacob from off the 
face of the earth. 

XLVI. (1) And it came to pass when Pharaoh reigned 
over Egypt that he changed the statutes of the first kings 
and their laws, and made the yoke heavy upon all the 
inhabitants of his land, and also upon the house of Jacob 
he had no pity, through the counsel of Bala'am the 
enchanter and his two sons, for they were then the king's 
counsellors. The king then took counsel with his three 
advisers — one of whom was named Eeuel the Midianite, 
the second Job, and the third Bala'am of Petor — and said, 
' Behold, the Israelites are becoming more numerous, and 
mightier than we. Come, let us be wise, lest they grow 
too numerous, and in the event of a war breaking out they 
will assemble against us and fight us, and go up from 
the land.' 

XLVI. 4] 117 

(2) Then Eeuel the Midianite exclaimed, ' Long live the 
king ! If it pleases the king, do not stretch forth thy hand 
against them, because God has selected them of old and taken 
them from all nations of the earth to be His inheritance. 
For whoever of all the kings of the earth stretches forth his 
hand against them their God will take vengeance upon him. 
When Abraham went down to Egypt, and Pharaoh ordered 
his wife Sarah to be brought to him, did not the Lord their 
God send great plagues upon him and upon his house until 
he restored Abraham's wife, and only through Abraham's 
prayer was he healed ? Also in the case of Abimelech in 
Gerar. As a punishment all his house was struck with 
barrenness, even unto the animals. In a vision Abimelech 
learned the cause, and that he must restore Abraham's 
wife whom he had taken. After Isaac prayed for him and 
his household, and entreated God on their behalf, they were 
healed. (3) When Isaac was separated from his wife all 
their fountains were dried up, and their fruit-bearing trees 
did not yield their produce, and the breasts of their wives 
and cows were dried up. Then Abimelech went to him 
from Gerar, his pasturage, and Phichol, the captain of his 
host. They prostrated themselves, and asked him to 
entreat God for them and pray to Him. When he besought 
God they were healed. Jacob was a simple man dwelling 
in tents ; by his integrity he was delivered from Esau, and 
Laban the Aramean, and from all the kings of Canaan. 
Who can stretch forth his hand against them without being 
punished? Was it not thy father that promoted Joseph 
over all the princes of Egypt, for through his wisdom he 
rescued all the inhabitants from famine, and commanded 
Jacob and his sons to go down to Egypt that the land of 
Egypt be saved from further evil through their piety? 
Now, if it seems good to thee, cease destroying them, and 
if thou dost not wish to allow them to dwell in Egypt, send 
them hence, and they will go to the land of Canaan.' 

(4) Pharaoh was exceedingly angry with Keuel, so he 
left the kingdom and went to Midian. He took Jacob's 
staff with him. The king then said to Job, ' Give thy 

118 [XLVI. 4 

counsel. What shall be clone with these people?' But 
Job briefly replied, ' Are not all the inhabitants of thy 
country in thy hand ? Do thou what is pleasing in thine 
eyes.' Then spake Bala'am of Petor to the king, ' If thou 
thinkest to diminish them by fire, has not their God 
delivered Abraham from the furnace of the Chaldeans ? 
And if thou thinkest to destroy them by the sword, has not 
Isaac been tested thereby, and a ram been given in his 
stead ? Now, my lord the king, if thou seekest to blot out 
their name, order their babes to be thrown into the sea, 
because not one of them has yet been put to this test.' 

(5) This advice pleasing the king, he issued a decree all 
over Egypt, saying that every male born to the Hebrews 
should be cast into the water. And it came to pass when 
the males of the house of Jacob were cast into the river 
that Moses was one of them. The Lord thereupon sent an 
angel to deliver them, and thus he also was saved through 
the daughter of Pharaoh. When Moses grew up in the 
king's palace Pharaoh's daughter adopted him as her son, 
and the whole of Pharaoh's household was afraid of him. 

(6) One day it was reported to Bala'am that the son of ' 
Bityah (Pharaoh's daughter) wished to take his life. 
Bala am the enchanter and his two sons therefore fled for 
their lives and escaped to the land of Cush. And when 
Qinqanos waged war with the peoples of the East and 
Syria, Bala'am revolted against him and did not allow him 
to enter the city. Cush was therefore besieged for nine 
years, and during the siege Qinqanos died. The people 
then crowned Moses the Levite as their king. (7) By his 
wisdom Moses captured the city, and was placed upon the 
throne of the kingdom with the crown upon his head. 
They also gave him to wife the Cushite wife of the late 
monarch. But Moses, fearing the God of his fathers, did 
not approach her, for he remembered the oath which 
Abraham made Eleazar his servant swear, saying, ' Thou 
shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan for my 
sons.' Isaac said likewise to Jacob when he fled on account 
of Esau. ' Thou shalt not intermarry,' said he, ' with the 

XLVI. 9] 119 

children of Ham, for remember that Noah said, " The 
children of Ham should be servants to the children of 
Shem and Jafeth." ' Therefore Moses feared the Lord, 
and walked before Him in truth with all his heart. Nor 
did he deviate from the path wherein his ancestors 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob walked. The kingdom of Cush 
was firmly established through him, and, going to war with 
Edom, the East of Palestine, and Syria, he conquered them, 
and made them submit to Cush. The number of years 
during which he sat upon the throne was forty, and in all 
his battles he was successful, because the Lord God of his 
fathers was with him. 

(8) In the fortieth year of his reign, when he was sitting 
upon the throne with his queen by his side, the queen said 
to the princes in the presence of the people, ' Behold now, 
during the whole of the forty years that this king has reigned 
he has not once approached me, nor has he worshipped the 
gods of Cush. Now, hearken ye unto me, sons of Cush, 
do not allow this man to reign over you any longer, but 
let my son Mobros (DnniD) reign over you, for it is better 
that you serve the son of 3^our master than a stranger, a 
servant of the King of Egypt.' The people discussed the 
matter until the evening. They then rose up early next 
morning and crowned Mobros (Dnmn), the son of Qinqanos, 
king over them. But the Cushites feared to lay hands on 
Moses, for they remembered the oath they took to him. 
So they gave him valuable gifts and sent him away with 
great honour. Moses accordingly went forth thence, and 
his reign over Cush thus came to an end. 

(9) Moses was sixty-seven years of age when he went out 
of Cush; for the thing came from God, as the time had 
arrived which had been fixed from olden times when the 
Israelites were to be freed from the children of Ham. 
Moses then went to Midian, for he feared to return to 
Egypt through fear of Pharaoh, and stayed by a well of 
water. When the seven daughters of Eeuel the Midianite 
came out to feed the sheep of their father, they came to the 
well to draw the water for the sheep. But the Midianite 

120 [XLYI. 9 

shepherds drove them away, and Moses rose up and assisted 
them m watering the sheep. Returning to their father, 
they told him what the man had done for them. Reuel 
{Le., Jethro the Kenite) then invited him into the house to 
take a meal with him. Moses then related to him that he 
hailed from Egypt, and that he had reigned over Cush ; that 
they had wrested the kingdom from him and had sent him 
away. When Eeuel heard this, he said to himself, ' I shall 
put this man in prison, by which I shall please the Cushites 
from whom he fled.' Accordingly he put him in prison, 
where he remained for ten years. But Zipporah, the 
daughter of Reuel, had pity upon him, and fed him with 
bread and water. 

(10) At the end of the ten years she said to her father, 
' Nobody seeks or inquires after this Hebrew whom thou 
hast imprisoned these ten years. Now, if it seemeth 
good to thee, my father, let us send and see whether he is 
dead or alive.' Her father did not know that she had 
supplied him with food. Reuel then answered and said, 
' Is it possible for a man to be imprisoned twelve (?) years 
without food and yet live ?' But Zipporah replied, ' Hast 
thou not heard, my lord, that the God of the Hebrews is 
great and powerful, and that He works wonders at all 
times ? That he delivered Abraham from the furnace of 
the Chaldeans, Isaac from the sword, and Jacob from the 
angel with whom he wrestled by the brook of Jabbok ? 
That even for this man He has done many wonders ; that 
He delivered him from the river of Egypt and from the 
sword of Pharaoh ? He will also be able to deliver him 
from this place.' (11) This word pleased Reuel, and he 
acted as she had asked. He therefore sent to the pit to see 
what had become of him, and found him alive, standing erect, 
and praying to the God of his ancestors. Having brought 
him forth from the pit, he shaved him, changed his prison 
garments, and gave him to eat. The man then went to the 
garden of Reuel at the back of the palace, and prayed to 
his God, who had done so many wonders for him. While 
he was praying, he suddenly beheld a staff made of 

XLVI. 13] 121 

sapphire fixed in the ground in the midst of the garden. 
AVhen he approached it, he found engraved thereon the 
name of the Lord of Hosts, the ineffable name. He read 
that name, and pulled up the staff as lightly as a branch is 
lifted up in a thickly-wooded forest, and it was a rod in his 

(12) This was the same staff that was created in the 
world among the works of God after He created the heavens 
and the earth and all their hosts, the seas, rivers, and all 
the fishes thereof. When Adam was driven from the 
garden of Eden he took the staff with him and tilled the 
ground from which he was taken. It then came into the 
hands of Noah (son of Lamek), who handed it down to 
Shem and his descendants until it reached Abraham the 
Hebrew. He then handed over all his possessions to Isaac, 
including the staff of wonders, which Isaac also inherited. 
When Jacob fled to Padan Aram he took it with him, and 
when he came to his father in Beersheba he did not leave 
it behind. When he went down to Egypt he handed it 
over to Joseph as a separate gift above that which he gave 
to his other sons. After Joseph's death the princes of 
Egypt dwelt in his house, and the staff came into the hand 
of Eeuel the Midianite, who, when he left Egypt, took it 
away with him and planted it in his own garden. All the 
mighty men of King Qinqanos (Dl^p^^p) who wished to 
Aved his daughter Zipporah tried to uproot it, but without 
avail, so that it remained there in the garden until Moses, 
to whom it rightly belonged, came and took it away. 
W^hen Reuel saw the staff in Moses' hand he was astonished 
(and knew that he was the redeemer of Israel). Eeuel 
then gave Zipporah his daughter to Moses. 

(13) Moses was seventy-seven years old when he came 
out of prison, and took Zipporah the Midianite to wife. 
And Zipporah went the ways of the women of Israel ; she 
did not even in the smallest thing fall short of the 
righteousness of Sarah, Eebecca, Eachel, and Leah, the 
pinnacles of the world. She conceived and bare a son, 
whom she called Gershon, for he (Moses) said : ' I was a 

122 [XLVI. 13 

wanderer in a strange land '; but by the order of Reuel his 
father-in-law the child was not circumcised. After the 
lapse of three years she conceived again and bare another 
son. After his circumcision Moses called his name Eleazar, 
because (he said) ' The God of my father is my help, and 
He delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.' 

XLYII. (1) At that time Moses used to tend the flocks 
of Eeuel the Midianite behind the wilderness of Sin, with 
his staff in his hand. But the Lord was zealous for His 
people and His inheritance, and, hearing their cry, said He 
would rescue them from the descendants of Ham, and give 
them the land of Canaan. He appeared to Moses, His 
servant, in Horeb, in a burning bush ; but the fire did not 
consume the bush. Then God called him from the midst 
of the bush, and commanded him to go down to Egypt 
to Pharaoh, King of Egypt, and to ask him to send away 
His chosen people as free men. He showed him signs and 
wonders to perform in Egypt that they might believe that 
the Lord had sent him. God gave him confidence by 
saying, ' Go, and return to Egypt, for those that sought thy 
life are now dead, and they have no power to do thee 
harm.' (2) Moses then returned to Midian, and related to 
his father-in-law all that had happened. ' Go in peace,' 
said he. So Moses arose and went away with his wife and 
sons. They lodged at a certain place, and an angel came 
down and attacked him for his transgression of the covenant 
which God made with Abraham His servant, in that he 
did not circumcise his eldest son, and he wanted to slay 
him. Zipporah then immediately took one of the sharp 
flint stones which she found there and circumcised her 
son, and she rescued her husband from the power of the 

(3) As Aaron the Levite was walking in Egypt by the 
river God appeared to him, and said, * Go now, and meet 
thy brother Moses in the wilderness.' He accordingly 
went and met him on the mountain of God, and kissed him. 
On beholding the woman and her children, he said to 
Moses, ' Who are these?' 'These are,' said he, 'my wife 

XLVII. 6] 123 

and sons whom God gave me in Midian.' But Aaron was 
displeased, and he told him to send the woman and her 
sons back to her father's house. This Moses did. And 
Zipporah and her sons remained in the house of Eeuel, her 
father, until the Lord visited His people, and delivered them 
from Egypt from the hand of Pharaoh. (4) Moses and 
Aaron then went alone to Egypt to the Israelites, whom 
they told all that the Lord had spoken. Thereat the people 
exceedingly rejoiced. The next morning they rose up early 
and went to Pharaoh's house, taking the staff of God with 

(5) When they came to the gate of the king's palace they 
saw there two young lions bound in iron chains. No one 
could enter or pass out from within unless the king com- 
manded it. The keepers on seeing them loosened the 
chains, and by charms set the lions free to pounce upon 
them ; but Moses hastily waved his wand upon them, and 
Moses and Aaron entered the king's palace, followed by the 
young lions playing round them as a dog plays on seeing 
its master coming home from the field. When Pharaoh 
saw this he was greatly astonished, and still more confused 
on account of these men, whose appearance was like that of 
the children of God. The king then said to them, ' What 
do you wish?' And Moses said, 'The Lord God of the 
Hebrews has sent us to thee, saying, " Send out My people, 
that they may serve Me." ' Pharaoh was greatly afraid of 
them, and told them to go away and come again to-morrow, 
which they did. 

(6) When they were gone Pharaoh ordered Bala am the 
enchanter, and Janis (d-j^) and Jambris (onnro^), his sons, 
the wizards, and all the magicians of Egypt to be summoned 
before him. He then related to them what these men had 
spoken. The magicians then asked, ' How did these men 
pass the lions that were chained at the gate of the palace ?' 
' They waved their staves upon the lions,' said the king, 
' and they let them loose, and they followed them just as 
dogs who were pleased to meet them.' ' They are nothing 
else than wizards like ourselves,' said Bala'am. ' Send now 

124 [XLVII. 7 

after them and let them come, and we shall try them.' 
The king acted accordmgly. 

(7) Taking the staff, they came before the king, and 
repeated the words which they had spoken at first. ' But 
how can one beheve,' said Pharaoh, ' that you are 
messengers of God, and that by His word you have come 
here? Give us a sign and we shall believe you.' Aaron 
then threw his staff upon the ground, and it was immedi- 
ately changed into a serpent. The magicians, seeing this, 
did the same by their incantations, and the staff of each 
one of them became a serpent ; but Aaron's serpent at that 
moment hfted its head, and, opening its mouth, swallowed 
up the serpents of Pharaoh's magicians. Balaam the 
wizard, seeing this, said, ' This has been done from time 
immemorial, that one serpent should swallow up his 
neighbour just as the fish swallow each other. But change 
it back to a staff as we shall do, and then if thy staff' is 
able to swallow ours we shall thereby know that the Spirit 
of the Lord is with thee ; but if it cannot swallow them, 
then thou art a wizard as we are.' Aaron then hastily took 
hold of the serpent by its tail, and it became a stick again. 
This the magicians likewise did. Then Aaron, as previously, 
cast his staff upon the ground, and it swallowed up those of 
the magicians. 

(8) Pharaoh then ordered the Book of Chronicles of the 
Kings of Egypt to be brought to him ; therein were 
contained the names of all the gods of Egypt. When the 
list was read over to Pharaoh, he said, ' I do not find your 
God written in this book, nor do I know Him.' ' The Lord 
God of gods is His name,' replied they (Moses and Aaron). 
' But who is the Lord,' added Pharaoh, ' that I should 
listen to His voice and send Israel forth ? I do not know 
Him, and shall not allow the Israelites to go.' ' From the 
days of our forefathers He has been called " The God of 
the Hebrews." Now give us permission to go a journey 
of three days in the wilderness to sacrifice unto the Lord, 
for ever since we came down to Egypt He has not received 
from our hands a burnt offering, meal offering, or sacrifice. 

XLVIII. 3] 125 

If, however, thou wilt not let us go forth, the Lord will 
assuredly wax angry and smite the land of Egypt with 
pestilence or w^ith the sword.' 

(9) ' Tell us something of His might and power,' said 
Pharaoh. ' He created the heavens and all their host ; the 
earth and all it contains ; the seas with all their fishes. 
He it was who formed the light and wdio created the 
darkness ; who caused the rain to fall upon the earth to 
irrigate it. He caused the young plants and the grass to 
spring forth. He created man, animals, the beasts in the 
forest, the birds in the heavens, and the fish in the seas. 
Through Him they live, through Him they die. Did He 
not create thee in the womb of thy mother, and give thee 
the spirit of life ? did He not make thee grow up, and 
place thee on the royal throne of Egypt ? He shall also 
take away thy spirit and thy soul, and return thee to the 
dust from which thou wast taken.' The anger of Pharaoh 
was kindled, and he said, ' Who is there among all the gods 
of the people that can do this ? Behold, I it was who 
created the river, and who created myself.' He then drove 
them out of his presence, and from that day he made the 
slavery more oppressive than heretofore. 

XLVni. (1) The Lord rose in His strength and smote 
Pharaoh and his people with many great and terrible 
plagues, and turned all their rivers to blood, so that when- 
ever an Egyptian came to the river to draw water, as soon 
as he looked into his pitcher, he found it turned to blood. 
Whether for drinking or for kneading the dough, or for 
boiling, it always looked like blood. 

(2; After this all their waters brought forth frogs, so that 
whenever an Egyptian drank of them, his stomach became 
full of frogs, which croaked about in his entrails just as 
they did in the river. Whether they kneaded or whether 
they boiled, the water was filled with frogs. Even when 
they lay down upon their beds, their very perspiration was 
turned into frogs. (3) He then smote their dust so that it 
became lice two cubits high ; on their very bodies they lay 
a handbreadth, as well on the king and queen as on the 

126 [XLVIII. 3 

people. Following this, the Lord sent against them the 
wild beasts of the field to destroy them ; serpents, vipers 
and scorpions to injure them ; mice, weasels, lizards, and 
noxious reptiles ; flies, hornets, and other insects to fly 
into their eyes and ears ; fleas, ants, and every species of 
winged insect to torture them ; they filled the innermost 
recesses of their houses. When the Egyptians tried to 
hide themselves in order to shut out and to escape the 
wild beasts, the Lord ordered the sea-monster (octopus ? 
noi'p^D) to ascend to Egypt. It has arms ten cubits in 
length, according to the cubit of man. Eising to the roof, 
it uncovered the roof and exposed the rafters ; and it then 
slid its arm inside the house ; it wrenched off the bolt and 
lock, and thus forced open the houses of the Egyptians.. 
In this manner the hordes of wild beasts got into the 
palace of Pharaoh and his servants, and they worried them 

(4) And God sent a pestilence among the horses, asses, 
camels, cattle and sheep. When the Egyptian rose early 
in the morning and went out to his pasture, he found his 
animals lying about dead, there remaining alive but one in 
ten. (5) The Lord next sent a plague of fever among the 
Egyptians, which afterw^ards broke out into severe boils, 
which covered them from the sole of the foot to the crown 
of the head. They broke, and their flesh was running with 
streams of matter, until they wasted away and rotted, and 
(6) the hail devastated all their vines and trees so that not 
even the bark or the leaves were left : all their produce was 
dried up, and a burning fiery flame played in the midst 
of it. Even the men and animals found abroad were slain 
by the flame, and all the libraries (houses of books) were 
overthrown. (7) Various kinds of locust devoured every- 
thing left by the hail; what one species left, the other 
destroyed. The Egyptians, however, were glad to hunt 
them and salt them for food. The Lord then raised a very 
strong wind, which carried them all, including the salted 
ones, into the Ked Sea, so that not a solitary one remained 
in the whole of Egypt. (8) Darkness then covered the 

XLVIIL 11] 127 

earth for three clays, so that one could not see his o^Yn 
hand before his eyes. During this period of darkness many 
Hebrews who had rebelled against their Creator, rebelled 
also against Moses and Aaron, saying : ' We shall not go 
forth lest we die in the desolate wilderness by famine.' 
God smote them by a plague, and they were buried during 
these three days, lest the Egyptians should see them and 
rejoice at their downfall. (9) All the firstborn of the 
Egyptians were then slain from man to animal, even the 
likeness of their firstborn engraved on the walls of their 
houses was effaced and thrown to the ground. The bones of 
their firstborn that w^ere buried in their houses the dogs of 
Egypt dragged away, and, breaking them to pieces, devoured 
them before the very eyes of the people, so that their 
descendants cried out in anguish. The people of Egypt 
then hastened to accompany the servants of God, whom 
they sent away with much riches and many gifts, according 
to the oath which God sware at the Covenant between the 

(10) Moses went to Shihor (the Nile), and drawing up 
the coffin of Joseph, took it away with him. The heads of 
the tribes of Israel also assisted in bringing up each one 
the coffins of his forefathers. Many of the heathen joined 
them in their departure from Egypt and in their journey of 
three days in the wilderness. (11) On the third day, how- 
ever, they said to one another, ' Did not Moses and Aaron 
tell Pharaoh that they wished to go a journey of three 
days in the wilderness in order to sacrifice to the Lord 
their God? now let us rise early to-morrow morning 
and see if they return to Egypt to our lord ; we shall 
thereby know that they are to be believed, but if not, 
we shall go to war against them and bring them back by 
main force.' On the fourth day they accordingly rose 
early, and found Moses and Aaron eating and drinking, 
and celebrating a festival to their God. The rabble said 
to them, ' Why do you not return to your master ?' Moses 
replied : ' Because the Lord has warned us, saying, " Ye 
shall no more return to Egypt, but ye shall go to a 

128 [XLVIII. 12 

land flowing with milk and honey, as I have sworn to your 
fathers." ' 

(12) As soon as the rabble saw that they refused to 
return, they went to war against the Israelites ; but the 
Israelites prevailed against them, causing great slaughter. 
The remainder fled to Egypt to inform Pharaoh that the 
people had fled. And the heart of Pharaoh and of his 
servants was forthwith turned against them, so that they 
pursued after them to bring them back to their burdens ; 
for the Egyptians repented after they had sent them away. 
Pursuing them hastily, they at length overtook them while 
they were encamping by the Eed Sea. There the Lord 
wrought many miracles for the Hebrews through Moses, 
His chosen servant, who stretched his staff upon the sea, 
when the waters were immediately divided into twelve rents 
(for the twelve tribes), through which they all passed over 
dryshod, just as one passes along the highway. After 
them came all the Egyptians. But they were all drowned 
except Pharaoh, King of Egypt, who thereupon offered a 
thanksgiving offering to the living God, and believed that 
He was the living God. God then commanded Michael, 
Gabriel, and Uriel, the heavenly princes, to bring him up 
from the sea. So they brought him to the land of Nineveh, 
where he remained for 500 years. 

(13) The Israelites then journeyed into the wilderness, and 
Amaleq, the son of Eliphaz, the son of Esau, went to war 
against them. With him there came an innumerable army 
of wizards and enchanters. But the Lord delivered them 
into the hand of Moses His servant and Joshua the son of 
Nun, the Ephrathite, who put them to the edge of the sword. 
Keuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, then came out 
into the wilderness to Moses, where he was encamping 
by the mountain of God with Zipporah and his sons, and 
dwelt with them among the Israelites. Moses next fought 
against Sihon and Og, and captured their land. He then 
fought against Midian and slew Evi, Eeqem, Sur, Hur 
and Eeb'a, the five kings of Midian. (14) He put Bala'am 
the enchanter and his two sons to the edge of the sword. 

XLVIII. 16] 129 

When Bala am the enchanter sa^Y Eleazar, the son of Aaron 
the priest, and Pmehas his son, captains of the host of 
Israel, following him for the purpose of slaying him, by 
means of witchcraft he flew in the air, just as an eagle 
is seen to fly heavenward. But, uttering the ineflable, 
revered name of God, they brought him down to the earth, 
and, capturing him, slew him with the rest of the princes of 
Midian. The Canaanites who dwelt in the mountains also 
descended with the Amaleqites to fight against Israel, but 
the Lord delivered them into the hand of Moses and the 
Israelites, who smote them utterly. (15) Moses w^as eighty 
years old when he stood before Pharaoh, King of Egypt. 
Through him the Lord redeemed Israel from Egypt. He 
reigned over them in the wilderness forty years, during 
which time the Lord maintained them by His mercy with 
the bread of the mighty and the fowd of the heaven, and 
from the flinty rock He brought forth fountains of w^ater for 
them. The cloud of the Lord gently guided them by day 
like children, and a pillar of fire by night, and during the 
whole time of their travels in the wilderness neither their 
garments nor their shoes wore out, and no goodness lacked 
them there. (16) After travelling through the wdlderness of 
Sin, they arrived at Mount Sinai on the third day of the third 
month after their departure from Egypt. The word of the 
Lord then came to Moses the Levite, saying, ' Come up to 
the mountain, and I will give thee the tablets of stone, the 
Law and the Commandments which I have written to teach 
the Israelites.' Moses accordingly told the people to 
sanctify themselves for three days, and on the third day, 
that is, on the sixth day of the third month, he ascended 
the mount. The Lord then gave the Israelites through 
Moses the 613 precepts refined as silver and tried as gold, 
accompanied by the sound of the trumpet, by thunders 
and lightnings. They next erected a tabernacle, with its 
vessels, for ministering to God, and the ark for the two 
tablets and for the scroll of the Law. They also prepared 
burnt-offerings, sacrifices, incense, frankincense, oil for the 
consecration and for anointing therewith the tabernacle 


130 [XLVIIT. 16 

with its vessels and the priests of God, viz., Aaron and his 
sons, who ministered before God and offered sacrifices and 
incense for the congregation. They also made for them 
garments of honour, and appointed the sons of Levi to 
guard the tabernacle of the Lord, to minister to their 
fellow-priests, and to sing hymns during the sacrifice. 
They also offered frankincense within to avert the anger 
and punishment of the Lord. 

(17) In the fortieth year of their wanderings, Miriam the 
prophetess died, on the tenth day of the first month, and 
was buried in the wilderness of Sin, which is Qadesh. In 
the same year, on the first day of the fifth month, Aaron 
the priest died, and was buried on Mount Hor, and Eleazar 
and Ithamar were appointed to minister in the place of 
their father. The priesthood has remained in that family 
as an inheritance throughout all generations. (18) In tha^t 
same year on the seventh day of the twelfth month — i.e., 
Adar— Moses, the servant of the Lord, died, 120 years old, 
and was buried in the valley at the nethermost part of the 
Mount of Ebarim, and Joshua the son of Nun, the 
Ephrathite, was appointed leader of the people. The rest 
of the words of Moses relating to his power, his military 
deeds, his entreaties and prayers on behalf of his people, 
are they not written in the ' Sefer Hayashar,' which is the 
Law of our God? Joshua the son of Nun rose up after 
him. He led the Israelites across the Jordan and divided 
the land by lots according to the word of God. 

The Death of Aaron, of Blessed Memory. 

XLIX. (1) ' Better is a good name than precious oil.' 
Thus it was with Aaron. God said to Moses, our teacher, 
' The time has arrived for Aaron to quit this world. Do 
thou go and tell him that his life is nearing the end.' Moses 
then rose and prayed the whole night. He said, ' Lord of 
the world, how can I say to Aaron, " Thy time has arrived 
to quit this world"? And God said to Moses, 'Give him 

XLIX. 3] 131 

the message of a great thing and of good tidings, that I will 
not deliver his soul into the hand of the angel of death.' 

(2) Moses then determined to change the order of things 
for that day. It was customary for some of the princes to 
rise early and wait at the door of Eleazar and Ithamar, and 
for all the elders to wait on Moses ; but on that day 
the order ^vas reversed, for Moses, Eleazar, and all the 
princes rose early to wait on Aaron. When Aaron came 
to the door and saw them all standing, with Moses among 
them, he asked, ' my brother, why hast thou changed 
thy custom to-day?' ' Because God has bidden me to tell 
thee something to-day,' said Moses. 'But canst thou not 
tell me privately?' 'No.' 'Speak, I entreat thee!' 'I 
cannot,' replied Moses, ' until we depart hence.' They then 
immediately went away. On other occasions Moses, Aaron, 
and Eleazar used to walk together — Moses in the middle 
Aaron at his right, Eleazar at his left, and all the 
Israelites behind them ; but on this day Aaron walked in 
the middle. AVhen the Israelites perceived this they said 
to each other, ' The Holy Spirit has been removed from 
Moses, and has been given to Aaron.' They all rejoiced, 
because they loved Aaron with a greater love than they did 
Moses, because he loved peace and pursued it. 

(3) ' Why,' asked Aaron, ' dost thou confer this great 
honour upon me to-day ?' ' Because God has commanded 
me to tell thee something.' ' And what is that w^hich thou 
hast been commanded to tell me ?' ' Do thou wait until 
we are seated.' When they were seated Aaron repeated his 
question, ' Now tell me, my brother.' ' Wait until we 
mount the hill.' And he did all this in order not to frighten 
him too much. The three of them, Moses, Aaron, and 
Eleazar, then ascended the hill, when Moses said, ' my 
brother Aaron, return unto me what God has entrusted 
thee with.' 'Is it the tent of the congregation wdth all 
its vessels which is entrusted to me ?' * Has he handed over 
a light to thee ?' ' Yes,' said Aaron ; ' the lamp with its 
seven lights has been entrusted to my care.' He did not yet 
understand that Moses referred to his soul, which is com- 

Q O 

132 [XLix. s 

pared to a light, as the verse says, ' The light of God is the 
soul of man, penetrating the inmost chambers of the heart.' 
' Aaron, my brother, why did Abraham, om* forefather, die ? 
Was it not because the time had arrived for Isaac's rule ? 
And Isaac, why did he die? — why, do you think? Because of 
the time having arrived for Jacob's rule, which was then to 
be transferred to him.' Even yet Aaron did not understand 
the drift of Moses' conversation. ' Aaron, my brother, if 
one were to ask thee to give twenty years, or ten years, or 
one year, or even one day of thy life to that person, when 
that day should arrive wouldst thou deny his claim ?' 

(4) Aaron then at last understood that the time had come 
for him to die, and he said to Moses, ' Moses, the time of 
my death has arrived.' Moses remained silent and did 
not reply, for he was inwardly weeping. Aaron then, 
placing his hands upon his head, wept bitterly, saying, 
' What avails me the good name, when I am about to quit 
this world, in which I have always loved peace and pursued 
it, and made peace between man and his neighbour, be- 
tween man and wife?' While they were sitting in that 
place, the ground suddenly opened, showing them the cave 
of Machpelah. After entering it, Moses said, ' Aaron, my 
brother, perhaps this is the cave of Machpelah— that is, the 
vault of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ; thou art clothed in 
thy priestly garments, and they will become defiled. If 
now thou art willing, clothe thy son Eleazar with thine own 
garments, and array thyself in his, then thou and I will 
enter this vault.' Aaron forthwith stripped himself of his 
garments and put them upon Eleazar, his son, while he 
clothed himself in those of Eleazar. When they entered 
the cave they looked and beheld a burning lamp, a prepared 
bed, and a table spread. ' Go up, my brother,' said 
Moses, ' and lie upon this bed. Stretch out thy legs and 
close thine eyes and mouth.' He did so, and his soul 

(5) When Moses saw this he coveted such a death, 
saying, ' Happy the man that is born to such a death.' 
And God replied, ' By thy life thou shalt end thy days by 

L. 1] 133 

such a death.' At once Moses went out from the cave, and 
the mouth of it closed up by itself. 

(6) Moses and Eleazar then descended the hill. When 
the Israelites saw Moses and Eleazar without Aaron they 
said to Moses, ' Where is thy brother Aaron ?' ' His time 
had arrived to die, and he is no more,' answered Moses. 
Thereupon they sought to stone him, saying, ' Thou hast 
slain him, because we loved him more than thee.' At this 
Moses raised his eyes on high and stood in prayer. 

(7) At that moment God said to the ministering angels, 

* Lift up Aaron's coffin, and suspend it in the air that the 
Israelites may see it and believe Moses.' Thus they did, and 
the Israelites believed. They mourned for him thirty days. 
The ministering angels also lamented his death, saying, 

* Wail, ye cypresses, for the cedar has fallen.' Even God 
himself uttered this verse over him, ' The law of truth was 
in his mouth, iniquity was never found on his lips ; he 
walked with Me in peace and righteousness, and gave many 
a place of refuge.' Concerning his death, it is said, 'A good 
name is better than precious oil, and the day of death 
better than the day of one's birth.' 

[End of the death of Aaron. May the Lord deliver us 
on the last day. With the help of God, I, Eleazar the 
Levite, add here the account of the death of Moses, our 

L. (1) The Lord said to Moses, ' Behold, the time draws 
near when thou shalt die.' E. Aybo related that Moses 
addressed God in the following manner, ' Through the 
very word with which I praised Thee in the law in the 
presence of sixty myriads of those who sanctify Thy name 
Thou hast sentenced me to death,' as it is said, ' Bel told, 
thy days draw near for thee to die ; all thy gifts and 
punishments are meted out measure for measure, each one 
meted out in full, how now evil for good.' And God replied, 
' Even this word which I told thee is a mark of good- 
ness, as, e.g., '^Behold, I send before thee an angel. Be- 
hold, the righteous man will be rewarded in the land." 

134 [L. 1 

^^ Behold, I shall send to you Elijah, the prophet," and just 
as thou hast proclaimed Me before sixty myriads, so shall 
I, in the future, exalt thee in the midst of fifty-five myriads 
of perfectly righteous people.' Therefore He used the word 
'behold' (jH), the numerical value of jn is 50 and 5, 
viz., n = 5, and j = 50. 

(2) Rabbi said that the death of Moses is referred to ten 
times, viz. : 'Behold, the time draws near for thee to die.' 
' He died upon the mount.' ' For I am about to die.' 'Thou 
knowestthatafter my death.' ' After my death.' 'And before 
his death.' ' He was one hundred and twenty years old when 
he died.' ' And Moses, the servant of God, died there.' ' And 
it came to pass after the death of Moses, the servant of God.' 
' Moses My servant is dead.' From all these instances we 
learn that it was ten times decreed that Moses was not 
to enter the land of Israel ; but this harsh decree was, 
nevertheless, not sealed until the decision of the Great 
Tribunal was revealed to him. (3) For God said to him, 
*A decree has been passed that thou shalt not pass (into 
the land of Israel), as it is said. Thou shalt not pass this 
Jordan.' This decree was, however, lightly felt by Moses, 
for he said, ' The Israelites have committed many grievous 
sins ; and whenever I interceded for mercy on their behalf 
my prayer was accepted, as it is said, " Let me alone, that 
I may destroy them "; yet at the same i^lace it is written, 
" And the Lord repented of the evil." At the same place it 
is further written : ' " And the Lord said, I have pardoned 
according to thy word." I, Moses, therefore, who have 
not sinned from my youth, if I entreat God on my own 
behalf, how much more will God hear my words ?' When 
God saw that the decree was lightly felt by Moses, and that 
he did not turn his mind to prayer. He immediately 
swore by His great name that he would not enter the land, 
as it is said, ' Therefore thou shalt not bring this con- 
gregation.' ' Therefore ' means nothing else than an oath, 
as it is similarly said, ' Therefore, I sware to the house of 
Eli.' (4) As soon as Moses became aware that the judgment 
concerning him was finally decreed, he fasted, and drawing 

I^. 7] 135 

a circle he stood within it and said, ' I shall not move from 
this place mitil that decree has been annulled/ Having 
then clothed himself in sackcloth and scattered ashes 
upon his head, he prayed and supplicated before God until 
heaven and earth and the very creation were moved, and 
said, ' Perhaps the will of God to renew the world is being 
accomphshed.' A Divine voice then went forth, and saicf, 
* It is not God's will to renew the world ; in His hand is the 
soul of every Man, and the spirit of all flesh.' 'Man' is 
applied to Moses, as it is said, ' And the Man Moses was 
exceedingly meek.' (5) At that moment God made a pro- 
clamation at every gate, and in every firmament, and at 
every door of the Great Tribunal that they should not accept 
Moses' prayer. They, therefore, did not allow his prayer 
to reach God as the decree had already been sealed. The 
angel appointed to carry out this decree was named 
Akhzariel. God forthwith cried out to his ministering 
angels, 'Hasten to go down and close all those gates of 
heaven so long as his prayer continues.' For his prayer 
strove to penetrate the heavens, for hke unto a sword it 
rent and cut, and was not impeded. It drew its strength 
from the ' Ineftable Name,' which Moses learnt from 
Zagzagel, his teacher, who is the scribe of all the heavenly 
host. To this event refers the verse : ' Behind me I heard 
the sound of a great noise, saying: "Blessed be the Lord 
from His abode." ' The voice was the cry of one suppHcat- 
ing, and the word ' great ' can only be applied to Moses, as 
it is said, ' The man Moses was very great.' 

(6) What is the true meaning of the expression, ' Blessed 
be the glory of the Lord from His abode '? The reply is 
that when the wheels of the chariot and the seraphim of 
fire perceived that God said, ' Ye shall not receive Moses* 
prayer, nor show him favour, nor grant him life, nor allow 
him to enter the land of Israel,' they exclaimed, 'Blessed 
be the glory of the Lord from His abode, who is no re- 
specter of persons either small or great.' 

(7) At that time Moses said to God, '0 Lord of the 
universe, it is well known to Thee what cares and troubles 

136 [L. 7 

I have undergone for Israel until they became " The chosen 
ones" to observe Thy Law, and how much anxiety I have 
suffered for them until I established for them the Law and 
the Commandments. I said, " As I saw their evil, may I 
also look upon their good ;" and now that they have 
reached that state Thou sayest to me, " Thou shalt not 
pass over this Jordan," behold Thou makest Thy law a 
falsity; for it is said, " Thou shalt give him his reward on 
the day due." Is this the payment for the forty years' 
service during which I have toiled, until they (the Israelites) 
became holy and faithful ?' as it is said, ' While Judah was 
yet rebelling against God, they became a holy and faithful 

(8) The angel Samael, the wicked, was the chief of the 
Satans. Every hour he used to dilate upon the coming 
death of Moses, saying, ' When will the moment arrive at 
which Moses is to die, so that I may go and take away his 
soul?' Concerning this David said, ' The wicked are always 
watching the righteous, seeking to take their life.' But of 
all the Satans Samael was the most wicked, while, on the 
contrary, there was no man so righteous among the 
prophets as Moses, as it is said, ' There has not yet arisen 
in Israel a prophet like Moses.' This may be compared to 
a man who is preparing for a wedding-feast, and who 
anxiously inquires, ' When will thy festivity begin, that I 
may participate in the joy?' Thus did the wicked Samael 
remain on the watch for the soul of Moses, and say, ' When 
will Michael commence to weep, and when shall I obtain 
the consummation of my joy?' Michael replied, 'I shall 
weep when (or while) thou rejoicest.' Some are of opinion 
that he said, 'Do not rejoice, mine enemy; although I 
fall, yet I rise again, for I fall at the death of Moses, but 
I shall rise again at the prosperity of Joshua, when he 
conquers thirty-one kings. I sit in darkness at the 
destruction of the first temple, but afterwards the Lord 
shall be my light, the light of the Messiah.' In the mean- 
time one hour had passed. 

(9) Moses then said to God, ' Lord of the universe, if 

L. 11] 137 

Thou wilt not permit me to enter the land of Israel, allow 
me to live in this world, and not die.' But the Lord 
replied, ' If I do not kill thee in this world, how can I 
bring thee to life in the world to come? And, further, 
thou wouldst by this falsify My law, for it is written in 
My law, " None shall deliver (him) from My hand." ' Thus 
far God forbore. Moses added, ' Lord of the universe, if 
I am not allowed to enter the land of Israel, allow me to 
remain as one of the beasts of the field, which eat the grass 
and drink the water, but live and see the world. Let my 
soul be as one of them.' God replied, 'You ask too much.' 
Moses continued, ' If not, allow me to remain in this world 
as a bird that flieth every day to the four corners of the 
earth, and in the evening returns to its nest. Let me be 
as one of them.' God still said, 'You ask too much.' 
' Lord of the universe, then place one of my eyes behind 
the door, and let them shut the door upon it three times in 
each year, that I may live and not die.' ' It is too much.' 
'What dost thou mean, Lord, w^hen thou sayest, "It is 
too much " ?' And God replied, ' Thou hast spoken too 
much.' (10) When, at length, Moses perceived that there 
was no creature that could deliver him from death, he 
immediately exclaimed, ' The Eock, whose work is perfect.' 
Then, taking a scroll, he wrote upon it the Ineffable Name, 
and recited his last ' Song ' until the moment arrived for 
him to die. Then spake the Lord to Gabriel, ' Go thou and 
bring to Me the soul of Moses.' But he replied, ' How can 
I look upon the death of him who is worth sixty myriads 
of creatures? and how can I make him angry who 
uttereth such words as he ?' Then spake God to Michael, 
' Go and bring me the soul of Moses.' And he replied, 
* Lord of the universe, how can I, who was his instructor, 
look upon the death of him who was my pupil ?' 

(11) At length God addressed Samael, the wicked, saying, 
^ Go thou and bring to Me the soul of Moses.' Then, 
clothing himself with anger, girding himself with his sword, 
and enveloping himself with eagerness, he set out to find 
Moses. When he saw Moses writing the Ineffable Name, 

138 [L. 11 

that his brilliancy was like that of the sun, and that he 
looked like an angel of the Lord of hosts, Samael was seized 
with a great fear for Moses, and said, ' The angels cannot 
of a surety take away the soul of Moses.' But before 
Samael appeared Moses knew that he was coming. 

(12) When he (again) looked on Moses he was exceedingly 
terrified, and trembled as a woman in travail, so that he 
could find no courage to speak to Moses, until Moses him- 
self said, ' Samael, " There is no peace for the wicked," 
saith the Lord. What dost thou here ?' ' I have come 
here to take away thy life.' ' But who sent thee ?' ' He 
who formed all creatures,' replied Samael. * Thou shalt 
not take my life,' added Moses. ' But the souls of all living 
beings are entrusted to me.' ' And I am,' said Moses, ' the 
son of Amram, who was born circumcised. On the day of 
my birth I found speech ; I walked on my feet, and spoke 
to my parents ; even the milk I did not suck. When I 
was three months old, I prophesied that I would in the 
future receive the Law on this day, from the midst of the 
flames of fire. When I went abroad I entered the king's 
palace and took the crown from off the king's head. When 
I was eighty years old, I performed signs and w^onders in 
Egypt, and brought out thence sixty myriads under the 
very eyes of the Egyptians. I also rent the sea into 
twelve parts; I made the bitter waters sweet; I went up 
to heaven and trod its path ; in the wars of the kings 
I conquered them ; I received the law of fire from the 
fiery throne, and I was hidden behind a cloud ; and I spake 
face to face to God, and I conquered the host of heaven, and 
I revealed hidden mysteries to mankind ; I received the 
law from the right hand of God, and taught it to the 
Israelites ; I went to war with Sihon and 'Og, the two 
mightiest warriors of the world, for even at the time of the 
flood the waters would not reach their knees on account 
of their enormous height ; I caused the sun and the moon 
to stand still in the horizon, while I smote those two kings 
with the staff that is in my hand and killed them. Who is 
there in the world that can do like this? Away hence. 

L. 14] 139 

thou wicked one. Thon hast not the permission to stay 
here. Depart from me, for I shall not give thee my 

(13) Samael accordingly returned and hrought hack word 
to God, who again said, ' Go forth and hring to Me the 
soul of Moses.' Samael immediately drew his sword from 
its sheath and thus stood over Moses. But Moses' anger 
was kindled against him, and he took the staff of God in his 
hand, on which the Ineffable Name was engraved, and beat 
Samael with all his might until he fled before him. Moses 
ran after him, took away the horn of his glory from him, 
and deprived him of his sight. Thus far did Moses' 
power prevail. The last moment of Moses' life had then 
drawn near, when a voice (Bath Kol) was heard to say : 
' Thy last moment, the time of thy death, has arrived.' 
But Moses entreated thus, ' Lord God of the world, re- 
member the day on which thou didst reveal Thyself to 
me in the bush, when Thou didst say, " Go forth and I will 
send thee to Pharaoh." Remember (0 Lord) the day when 
I stood upon Mount Sinai, where I remained forty days 
and forty nights. I entreat Thee not to deliver me into 
the hand of the angel of death.' A voice (Bath Kol) then 
went forth and said, ' Do not be afraid, for I myself will 
attend to thy burial.' 

(14) At that moment Moses stood up, and having 
sanctified himself just as one of the Seraphim, the Holy 
One, blessed be He, descended from the highest heavens 
together with Michael, Gabriel, and Zagzael. Michael 
arranged Moses' bed, Gabriel spread a garment of fine linen 
at his head and Zagzael a rug at his feet ; Michael stood 
on one side and Gabriel on the other. Then spake the 
Lord to Moses, ' Close thy eyes one after the other, and 
gather up thy feet.' Then, addressing the soul of Moses 
from the midst of his body. He said to it, ' My daughter, 
after I have placed thee in Moses' body for 120 successive 
years, the time has now arrived for thee to go forth from 
it ; therefore depart and do not delay.' The soul of Moses 
said : ' Lord of the universe, I know that Thou art the 

140 [L. 14 

Lord God of the spirits of all flesh, and that all souls, 
both of life and death, are delivered into Thy hand. Thou 
it was who created st me ; Thou it was who formedst me 
and didst place me in the body of Moses for 120 years ; 
and no human body has ever been purer than the body of 
Moses, in which no evil germ w^as seen, no worm or insect, 
wherein there never was any over-estimation. On account 
of all this I love him, and do not wish to depart from him.' 
' soul,' added God, ' depart and do not delay. I shall 
then carry thee up into the highest heavens, and place 
thee beneath the throne of My glory, with the Cherubim, 
Seraphim and Gedudim ' (troops of angels). 

(15) Once more entreating the Lord, it said : ' Lord of 
the universe, from Thy Divine Presence on high there once 
descended two angels, 'Azah and 'Azazel, who in their 
desire for the daughters of the earth, corrupted their way 
upon the earth, until Thou didst suspend them between 
heaven and earth. But from the very day on which Thou 
didst reveal Thyself in the bush, the son of Amram did 
not approach his wife, as it is said, " And Miriam and 
Aaron spoke against Moses on account of his wife." I 
entreat Thee, Lord, allow me to remain in the body of 
Moses.' At that moment, by a kiss of God, the soul of 
Moses was taken from him, and, as if weeping, God ex- 
claimed, ' Who will now rise up to correct the evil-doers ? 
who will now stand up for the workers of iniquity ?' The 
Spirit of God then wept and said, ' There has never yet 
arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses.' The heavens wept 
and said, ' A pious man has perished from the earth.' 
The earth wept, saying, ' There is no upright man left on 
the earth.' When Joshua had sought for his master and 
could not find him, he also wept, saying, ' Save me, 
Lord, for the pious one is no more, and the faithful have 
ceased from among men.' The Israelites then wept, 
saying, ' He performed the righteousness of God.' And 
the angels of every heaven exclaimed, ' His judgments are 
with Israel : the remembrance of the righteous is for a 
blessing, and his soul returns to everlasting life.' 

LI. 3] 141 

LI. (1) Now, what was the special merit of Moses, that 
God Himself should attend on his burial ? It w^as for the 
following reason. When he went down to Egypt and the 
time for the redemption of Israel had arrived, all the 
Israelites busied themselves with the silver and gold, while 
Moses, for three days and three nights, wearied himself 
by walking round the city silently searching for Joseph's 
coffin, since they could not depart from Egypt without 
Joseph, for he had made them promise him before his 
death and swear that they would do it, as it is said, ' And 
Joseph made the children of Israel swear.' 

(2) When Moses was already exceedingly tired, a woman, 
Serah, the daughter of Asher, met him, and, seeing him 
very faint and weary, she said to him, ' My lord Moses, 
why art thou faint?' 'Because,' said he, 'I have been 
wandering round the city for three days and three nights 
in search of Joseph's coffin, but have not yet been able 
to find it.' ' Come with me, and I will show thee where 
it is.' Leading him to a brook in that place, she then 
related to him that the magicians and wizards of Pharaoh 
had made a coffin of lead for Joseph, weighing 500 talents, 
and cast it into the brook. They thus spoke to Pharaoh, 
' If it please the king, this nation will now not be able 
to go forth from this place as it cannot discover Joseph's 

(3) Standing by the edge of the brook, Moses exclaimed, 
' Joseph, Joseph, thou knowest how thou didst cause 
Israel to swear, saying, " The Lord will surely visit you," 
Now bestow glory upon the God of Israel, and do not 
prevent their redemption. Beseech, I pray thee, thy 
Creator that thou mayest rise from these depths.' Im- 
mediately after this the coffin ascended from the depths, 
preceded by a bubbling of the waters, floating as lightly as 
a reed. Lifting it upon his shoulders, he carried it along, 
followed by all the Israelites. They carried the silver and 
the gold which they took from Egypt, whilst Moses carried 
the coffin. Then said the Lord to Moses, ' Thou sayest 
that thou hast in this done a small thing ; by thy life, the 

142 [LI. 3 

mercy which thou hast shown is great, since thou didst not 
think of the silver and the gold. I shall, therefore, show 
thee the same mercy w^hen thou departest this life. I shall 
with My glory bestow kindness on thee.' 

(4) Thus, when the time had arrived for Moses to quit 
this world, and God said to him, 'Behold, the time 
approaches for thee to die,' he exclaimed, ' Lord of 
the universe, after having received the law, and having 
suffered such weariness, dost Thou tell me, " The day of 
thy death draws near "? I shall not die, but will live.' 
'Thou canst not, for this is the way of man.' 'Lord of 
the universe,' entreated Moses, ' I beseech thee before my 
death to allow me to enter and search all the gates of the 
heavens and the depths of the earth, that they may see 
there is none besides Thee, as it is said, " And thou shalt 
know this day, and lay it up in thy heart that the Lord is 
God and no one else." ' God said, ' Thou hast written of 
Me: " and no one else." I say of thee there has not yet. 
arisen in Israel any one like Moses, who knew the Lord 
face to face.' What is the meaning of the words, ' Behold, 
thy day draws near to its end ' ? K. Simon said, ' The 
very day appeared before God, and said, "Lord of the 
universe, I shall not move nor end, so that Moses may 
continue to live." ' 

(5) The sages asked, ' What did Moses do as soon as 
he knew the day on which he was to die ? E. Janai said, 
that on that day he wrote thirteen scrolls, twelve for the 
tribes, and one he placed in the Ark. Li the event 
of their seeking to falsify a word, they might refer to the 
one in the Ark. Then said Moses, ' While I have been 
occupying myself with the Torah which is living, the day 
has set and the decree is thus annulled.' God then forth- 
with made a sign to the heavens, and the day remained at 
a standstill, saying, ' I will not set, so that Moses shall 
live.' Therefore Job uttered, ' Did not I weep for him that 
was in trouble (whose day was fixed), that is, the day was 
hardened (fixed) for him?' What is the meaning of the 
words, ' Behold, thy day draws near ' ? Just as one man 

LI. 7] 143 

says to his neighbour, ' Behold, someone has sued thee 
before the King.' 

(6) He called Joshua, and addressed God thus, ' Lord of 

the universe, let Joshua, my servant, be the ruler, and 

I shall live.' God replied, ' Serve thou him as he did 

serve thee.' Moses then rose up and hastened to the 

house of Joshua, who was greatly afraid, and said, ' Moses, 

my teacher, has come to me.' When he went out Moses 

walked on Joshua's left side. "When they entered the tent 

of the congregation, the pill^^r of cloud descended and 

separated them ; as soon as it departed Moses went up 

to Joshua, and asked, ' What did the Word say to thee ?' 

And Joshua replied, ' When the Word was revealed to thee, 

I knew what was said to thee.' Moses then wept, saying, 

' Better one hundred deaths, than one jealousy.' Solomon 

explains it thus, that love was as strong as death, and 

jealousy as Sheol, i.e., the love which Moses bare Joshua, 

and the jealousy which he showed towards him. When 

Moses was about to die, God tried to appease him, saying, 

' By thy life, as thou hast guarded My children in this 

world, so will I in the future world make thee the leader 

of My children,' as it is said, ' And He will remember the 

days of old.' 

(7) This is the blessing with which Moses blessed the 
children of Israel before his death. What is the meaning 
of the expression, ' Before his death '? The sages say that 
Moses took hold of the angel of death, and compelled him 
to go before him while he blessed each one of the twelve 
tribes. E. Meir says that the angel of death approached 
Moses, and said to him, * The Lord has sent me to thee, 
because thou must depart on this day.' Moses said, ' I 
seek to praise God, as it is said, " I shall not die, but live to 
tell of the works of God." ' ' But why,' said the angel, ' art 
thou so boastful ? for there are others who praise Him ; the 
heavens and the earth glorify Him every hour, as it is said, 
" The heavens declare the glory of God." But I wall 
silence them,' continued Moses, * as it is said, "Listen, 
heavens, while I speak." ' For the second time the angel 

144 [LI. 7 

of death approached him, but as soon as Moses uttered the 
' Shem Hammeforash ' (Ineffable Name), he fled, as it is said, 
'When I call upon the name of the Lord, bring ye 
greatness to our God.' When the angel of death approached 
him the third time, Moses said, ' It is now necessary for me 
to justify the Divine judgment upon me,' for it is said, 
' The Eock, whose work is perfect.' 

(8) E. Isaac said that the soul of Moses refused to depart 
from him, so that Moses communed with it, saying, 'Dost 
thou aver that the angel of death tried to overcome thee ?' 
' God will not do this,' it replied, 'for " thou hast delivered 
my soul from death."' 'Has he caused thee to see them 
crying, and made thee weep with them?' ' No, for " (thou 
hast delivered) my eye from tears." ' 'But did he try to 
make me fall among them (the people) ?' ' " Thou hast 
prevented my foot,"' said it, '"from slipping.'" 'And 
where wilt thou in the future walk ?' The soul replied, ' I 
shall walk before the Lord in the lands of the living.' As 
soon as Moses heard this, he exclaimed, 'Eeturn, my soul, 
to thy rest.' E. Abin said that as soon as they departed the 
mortals glorified God, saying, ' Moses has commanded us a 
law, an everlasting inheritance to the congregation of Jacob/ 

LII. (1) E. Joshua ben Levi said that when Moses 
ascended on high to receive the Law, a cloud appeared 
before him in a crouching position, so that he did not 
know whether to ride upon it or to take hold of it. How- 
ever, it soon opened, and having entered it, the cloud 
carried him aloft. Moses then walked along the firma- 
ment, just as one walks along the earth, as it is said, ' And 
Moses went in the midst of the cloud.' Qemuel, the angel 
appointed over 12,000 other angels of destruction, keeping- 
guard at the gates of heaven, met him. When he saw 
Moses he rebuked him, saying : ' Thou comest from a place 
of defilement, and darest walk in this place of purity. 
What dost thou, who wert born of woman, in this place of 
fire ?' ' I am Moses, the son of Amram, and have come here 
to receive the law for Israel.' 

(2) Moses walked along the firmament just as a man walks 

LII. 5] 145 

along a pathway, until he came to Hadarniel. The sages 
say of Hadarniel that he stands 60,000 parasangs above his 
fellow-angels, and that every word he utters is accom- 
panied by 12,000 sparks of fire. On seeing Moses, he in 
his turn rebuked him, saying, * What doest thou in this 
sublime and holy place ?' But as soon as Moses heard the 
voice of Hadarniel, he became frightened, confused, and 
trembled exceedingly in his presence, and the tears flowed 
from his eyes. He therefore entreated the cloud to cast 
him forth ; (3) but God's mercy was moved for Moses, and 
He thus addressed Hadarniel : ' From the very day that I 
created you, you have striven before Me ; when I wished 
to create man, all of you became his accusers before Me, 
saying: "What is man, that Thou shouldst remember 
him, and the son of man, that Thou shouldst visit him ?" 
You gave Me no rest until I consumed many of your 
companies ; and now, seeing that My desire is to give My 
law to My children, you stand in the way and will not 
allow My law to descend to My chosen people Israel. 
Indeed, were it not for Israel, who are to receive My law, 
there would be no dwelling in the firmament, either for Me 
or for you,' as it is said, ' If I had not created the day and 
the night, I would never have decreed the statutes of 
heaven and earth. ' 

(4) When Hadarniel heard this he rose and prayed and 
made supplication before God, saying, ' Lord of the 
universe, it is revealed and known before Thee that I did 
not know that Moses came here with Thy permission. 
Now that I know it I shall act as a messenger to him, I 
shall go before him as a pupil before his teacher.' Thus 
humbling himself, he went before Moses as a pupil before 
his instructor, until he came to the fire of Saldalphon ; 
(5) and then Hadarniel said : * Moses, do thou proceed, for 
I am not able to stand before the fire of Saldalphon. I 
fear lest he consume me with the breath of his mouth.' 
When Moses perceived Saldalphon, he was confused and 
trembled, and the tears flowed from his eyes. He then 
desired to be thrown from the cloud, and besought the 


146 [LII. 5 

mercy of Grod. His prayer was answered, for at that 
moment the Holy One, blessed be He, Himself descended 
and stood before Moses until he passed the fire of Saldal- 
phon. Concerning this it is said, ' And the Lord passed 
before him and he exclaimed, " The Lord, the Lord, the 
God of mercy and kindness." ' 

(6) Of Saldalphon the sages say that he towers above his 
fellow-angels a distance that would take 500 years to walk, 
and that he stands in front of the curtain weaving crowns 
for his Maker. The ministering angels do not know where 
God dwells, for it is said, ' Blessed be the Lord from His 
abode,' and it is not said in, but from, His abode. He 
(Saldalphon) therefore conjures with the Ineffable Name, 
and the crown departs to rest by itself on the head of 
the Almighty. As soon as the crown leaves the hand of 
Saldalphon, all the heavenly hosts are moved, and the holy 
creatures, till now silent, roar like lions, and they exclaim 
with one voice, ' Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts, 
the whole earth is filled with His glory.' When the 
crown reaches the throne of God, all the wheels of His 
chariot and throne commence rolling; the sockets of fire 
blaze forth, and all the heavens are seized with terror. 
When it passes on to the throne all the heavenly hosts with 
their own crowns on break forth into glorification of God, 
saying, ' Blessed be the glory of the Lord from His abode.' 
Come and see the glory and greatness of God. As soon 
as the crown reaches His head. He strengthens Himself to 
receive the prayers of His servants. Then all the Hayoth, 
Ophanim, Seraphim, the wheels of His chariot, the throne 
of His glory, and the hosts above and below exalt, glorify, 
and break forth in words of praise, honour and glory, and 
all as with one mouth proclaim His Sovereignty, saying, 
' The Lord will reign for ever and ever.' 

(7) As soon as Moses passed away from Saldalphon, he 
came to Eigion, a river of fire, whose flames burn the 
angels of fire just as the fire which consumes man. Moses, 
however, was taken across by God. (8) He then met 
Galisur, an angel to whom is attributed the saying that 

Lll. 10] 147 

out of the mouth of the Most High proceedeth evil and 
good. Why was his name called Galisur ? Because he 
reveals the secrets of God. His wings are spread out to 
receive the fiery breath of the holy creatures, for, were 
he not to do so, no creature would be able to endure it. 
Galisur is appointed for another kind of work : he pro- 
phesies that this year shall be a good wheat crop ; the 
barley shall ripen, and the wine shall be cheap. And 
yet another kind of work : taking a thick covering of iron 
and spreading it on the river Eigion, he places certain 
people upon it opposite the angels and princes, so that they 
may prosper, and that their fear shall fall upon the 
creatures. God took Moses up and brought him across the 

(9) After this, Moses met a troop of angels of terror 
that surround the Throne of Glory, and that are mightier 
and stronger than all the ministering angels. As soon as 
they espied Moses, they tried to consume him with the 
breath of their mouths, saying, * What doest thou in this 
place of glory ?' But God immediately spread the glory of 
His throne round about him, as it is said, ' He closeth in 
the face of His throne and spreadeth His cloud upon 
it.' Moses, thereby strengthened, returned the following 
answer : * What avails the Torah to you ? The Exodus 
from Egypt does not apply to you, nor the worshipping 
of strange gods, nor the taking of oaths.' At this they 
immediately rendered their thanksgiving to God, as it 
is said, ' Our Lord, how mighty is Thy name in all the 
earth ! Thou whose majesty extends over the heavens.* 
From that moment every one became Moses' friend ; every 
one handed over to him a secret cure, and even the angel 
of death revealed to him his secret, as it is said, ' And 
he gave the frankincense and atoned for the people.' 
(10) Then, opening the seven firmaments, God showed him 
the heavenly temple and the four different hues in which 
the tabernacle was made, as it is said, 'And thou shalt 
erect the tabernacle according to the plan which thou 
sawest on the mount.' • Lord of the universe,' said 


148 [Lll. 10 

Moses, ' I do not know its form.' Then spake God to 
him, ' Turn to the right.' He did so, and seeing angels 
clothed in a colour like that of the sea, God said, ' This is 
blue.' ' Now turn to the left,' said God. He did so, and 
seeing angels clothed in white, God said, ' This is the fine 
linen.' Then turning in front of him and seeing angels 
clothed in red, God said, ' This is scarlet.' ' Now turn 
behind thee.' Turning behind, he saw angels clothed 
neither in red nor green, and God said, ' This is purple.' 

(11) The Lord then opened the seven doors of the seven 
heavens, and revealed Himself to Israel face to face in His 
glory and with His crown. As soon as the Israelites heard 
the words, ' I am the Lord thy God' from God's own mouth, 
their souls departed forthwith, as it is said, ' The souls of 
the Israelites departed when He spoke.' The Law went 
forth to Israel and found them all dead. Keturning to 
God, it said, ' Lord of the universe, to whom hast Thou 
given me, to the living or to the dead ?' ' To the living,' 
said He. ' Hast thou not applied to me the verse, " It shall 
be thy life and the length of thy days "? and yet here are 
they all dead.' ' Then for thy sake I shall restore their 
souls ;' and causing that dew to descend which is destined 
to revive the dead, He thus brought them to life, as it is 
said, ' Thou, God, didst send a plentiful rain ; Thou 
didst confirm Thine inheritance when it was weary.' He 
then restored their souls, as it is said, * The law of God is 
perfect, refreshing the soul.' 

(12) There then descended, at the command of God, 
120 myriads of ministering angels, of whom a pair went to 
each of the Israelites, one to place his hand upon his heart 
to prevent his soul from departing, and the other to 
straighten his neck that he might behold God. But why 
did God reveal Himself to them face to face ? Because He 
said to them, ' Know that I reveal Myself to you in My 
glory and in My majesty, so that in the event of one of you 
leading others astray and saying to them, " Forsake your 
God and let us go and serve other gods," you may then 
say to him, *' Is there anyone who, after beholding his 

LIII. 1] 149 

Creator in His glory and in His majesty and upon the 
throne of His glory, would go and serve other gods ?" ' 
(13) Then said the Lord to Moses, ' My angels are afraid 
of thee because the fire of thy lightnings is stronger than 
theirs. Let Michael My archangel go before thee, for My 
great name is engraved upon his heart, as it is said, *'For 
My name is within him." The glory of the heights is on thy 
right hand, and the image of Jacob thy forefather on thy 
left.' Moses was inwardly pleased when he saw the Most 
High condescending to argue with him. All the inhabitants 
of the world were confused ; the inhabitants of every 
country were astonished when they saw Moses the son of 
Amram, who had captured the King's daughter (the Law), 
descending in great exultation, as it is written, ' Thou didst 
ascend on high ; thou didst take captive and receive presents 
for man.' It is further written, * A wise man scaleth the city 
of the mighty, and bringeth down the strength of the con- 
fidence thereof.' The mountains and hills skipped like 
rams when they saw the canopy erected, and the daughter 
of God as a bride decked with precious stones. The 
daughter of God is the Torah (Law), and the precious stones 
represent the twelve tribes, who said, ' All that the Lord 
has spoken we shall do and hearken thereunto.' As soon 
as they exclaimed, ' We shall do and we shall obey,' there 
descended 120 myriads of ministering angels, who placed 
two crowns upon every one of the Israelites : one because 
they said, ' VYe shall do,' and the other because they 
exclaimed, * We shall obey.' And the glory of the Lord 
was revealed from heaven, from the habitation of His 
holiness. He gave the Torah to the children of Jacob, His 
chosen one, and gave them righteous judgments, a true 
law, statutes and commandments for their good, by which 
to prolong the life, to obliterate the sins, and to sow the 
seeds of righteousness. 

LIII. (1) The sages say that while the Israelites were 
travelling in the wilderness they were surrounded by seven 
clouds of glory, one in front of them, one behind them, two 
on each side, and one above them to protect them from the 

150 [Liii. 1 

sun and the cold. Another cloud went before them, which 
levelled the high places and raised the lower places that 
they might not stumble, as it is said, ' And Thy cloud stood 
above them, and in a pillar of cloud Thou wentest before 
them.' This was the one in front of them, and the seventh 
was that which was placed at the head of the standards, 
and the light of the Divine Presence was refulgent in it. 
But how did it shine there? (2) The Eabbis say that there 
were four standards, of which the standard of Judah was in 
the east, and similar in shape to a lion, as it is said, ' Judah 
is a lion's whelp.' On the top of the banner was the form 
of a lion, out of which hooks of gold protruded, which 
ended in a sword-like pike, and on this there rested one 
arm of the seventh cloud, on which the three letters repre- 
senting the three forefathers were engraved, viz., Alef, Yod, 
Yod. ' Alef ' for Abraham, ' Yod ' for Isaac, and ' Yod ' 
for Jacob (^\s being the mnemonic sign). These letters 
were illuminated by the Shechinah. (3) In the south the 
banner of Eeuben was placed. It had the appearance of a 
man similar to mandrakes, on account of the passage, * And 
he found mandrakes.' On the top of the banner hooks of 
gold, which ended in a sword-like pike, and upon them 
rested one arm of the cloud, on which the three letters 
representing the three ancestors were engraved — 'Beth' 
for Abraham, * Sade ' for Isaac, and ' 'Ayin ' for Jacob 
iv)i2 being the mnemonic sign). These letters also shone 
from the splendour of the Shechinah. 

(4) In the west the banner of Ephraim was encamped, 
being in appearance like a fish, on account of the expres- 
sion, ' And they shall increase like the fish abundantly.' 
On the top of the banner were placed hooks of gold ending 
in a sword-like pike, on which rested one arm of the cloud, 
with the three letters representing the three forefathers 
engraved upon it, viz., ' Eesh ' for Abraham, ' Heth ' for 
Isaac, and ' Qof ' for Jacob (the mnemonic sign being phi)- 
Likewise these letters shone through the splendour of the 
Shechinah. (5) Lastly, in the north was encamped the 
banner of Dan, in the form of a serpent, on account of the 

LIII. 8] 151 

expression, ' Dan shall be like a serpent by the way.' On 
the top of the banner were placed hooks of gold ending in a 
sword-like pike, above which one arm of the cloud rested, 
with three letters representing the three ancestors engraved 
thereon, viz., ' Mem ' for Abraham, ' Qof ' for Isaac, and 
* Beth' for Jacob (the mnemonic letters being ipt), which 
shone through the splendour of the Shechinah. 

(6) Now, there was one letter remaining, viz., the He of 
Abraham, which God added to Abram from His own name, 
which is spelt Yod He (^'). With this God created the 
world, as it is said, ' For with " Yah " the Lord created the 
worlds.' God placed the pillar of cloud above the ark, which 
was surrounded by all the banners, as it is said, ' They 
encamped round about the tent of the congregation.' On 
this cloud now those sacred letters Yad, He, were fixed, and 
during the seven days of each week it went the round of all 
the camps of Israel, giving light as the sun by day and as 
the moon by night. They were thus able to distinguish 
between day and night. (7) When God wished them to 
remove their camps, the cloud on which the letters Yod, He 
were engraved moved upwards from the ark of the 
covenant. The four clouds on which were respectively 
engraved the letters ^^^? h'-iv, pni and 2pb followed after 
them, and as soon as the priests noticed these clouds 
following in the wake of the pillar of cloud, with the letters 
n^ on it, they blew their trumpets, and the four winds of the 
earth blew myrrh and frankincense, as it is said, ' Who is 
this coming up from the wilderness like pillars of smoke, 
perfumed with myrrh and frankincense ?' 

(8) These trumpets were used first for assembling the 
people together, then as the signal to continue their journey- 
ing for war, and also for the Sabbaths and festivals. Every 
trumpet was hollow and emitted a loud sound. It was one 
cubit in length and broad at the mouth, and a thin reed 
was placed in its mouth to receive the breath, and thus to 
discourse music in the hearing of the people. When they 
were used to assemble the people, and to bring the princes 
together, the sons of Aaron blew on one trumpet one long 

152 [LIII. 8 

even sound (teqi'ah nr^n), and not a tremolo (nrnn). A 
Teqi'ah, or one long even sound, on two trumpets meant 
the assembling of the whole congregation, but the same on 
only one trumpet was the signal for the assembling of the 
princes. If a tribe required its prince, they blew a Teqi'ah 
on one trumpet, but not a Teru'ah or tremolo. In the 
same manner the assembling of all the congregation was 

(9) As a signal for continuing their journey they used 
two trumpets and sounded the Teru'ah. At the first sound 
the three camps eastward, under the banner of Judah, moved 
onwards ; at the second the three camps in the south, under 
the banner of Eeuben ; at the third, the three camps in the 
west, under the banner of Ephraim ; and at the fourth sound 
of the Teru'ah, the three camps in the north, under the 
banner of Dan, started on their journey. For all these the 
Teru'ah sound was blown. In war, however, and on a day of 
rejoicing, or a festival, or a new moon, the sons of Aaron 
blew the two sounds Teqi'ah and Teru ah. (10) These four 
banners correspond with the four elements of which the 
world is composed, and the twelve tribes correspond with the 
twelve stones of the ephod, as it is said, ' And the stones 
shall be called after the names of the children of Israel.' 
The banner of Judah in the east corresponds to one of the 
four elements, viz., fire, and of the constellations, to Aries, 
Leo and Sagittarius, which consist of fire, and to the first 
row of the stones of the ephod, viz., the sardius, topaz and 

(11) The standard of Eeuben in the south corresponded 
to earth, the second of the four elements ; to Taurus, Virgo 
and Capricornus of the constellations which are of the dust ; 
and to the second row of the stones of the ephod, viz., the 
emerald, sapphire, and diamond. The banner of Ephraim 
in the west corresponded to water, the third of the four 
elements ; to Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius of the constella- 
tions, which consist of water ; and to the third row of 
the stones of the ephod, viz., the jacinth, agate, and 

LIIL 15] 153 

(12) The standard of Dan in the north corresponded to 
ah% the fourth of the four elements ; to Cancer, Scorpio, and 
Pisces of the constellations, which were created of air ; and 
to the fourth row of the stones of the ephod, viz., the 
beryl, onyx, and the jasper. (13) Judah's constellation is 
Leo and his stone the sardius ; Isaachar's is Aries and his 
stone the topaz; Zebulun's Sagittarius and his stone the 
carbuncle, i.e., altogether nine corresponding to fire.* 
Keuben's constellation is Taurus, and his stone the 
emerald; Simeon's Virgo and his stone the sapphire ; Gad's 
Capricornus and his stone the diamond, i.e., altogether nine* 
corresponding to dust. Ephraim's constellation is Gemini 
and his stone the jacinth ; Menasseh's Libra and his stone 
the agate ; Benjamin's Aquarius and his stone the ame- 
thyst, which are together nine corresponding to air.* 
Dan's constellation is Cancer and his stone the beryl ; 
Asher's Scorpio and his stone the onyx ; Naphtali's Pisces 
and his stone the jasper, which are altogether nine corre- 
sponding to water.* 

(14) Each man stood by his standard, together with 
the ensign of his father's house, thus : Eeuben, mandrakes ; 
Simeon, the city of Shechem ; Judah, the lion's whelp ; 
Issachar, a strong ass ; Zebulun, a ship ; Ephraim, an ox ; 
Menasseh, a buffalo (or Eeem) ; Benjamin, a wolf ; Dan, 
a serpent ; Naphtali, a hind ; Gad,' a troop (according to 
the passage, ' a troop will overtake him ') ; Asher, an olive, 
on account of the passage, ' He dipped his foot in oil.' 
Thus, a sign was given to every banner, according to the 
deeds and according to the name of the tribe. 

(15) And these are the four camps of the standards. 
' Every man by his standard, according to the house of their 
fathers, shall encamp round about the tent of the congrega- 
tion.' Between the tabernacle and the camps of the 
standards there was a very wide space. Three tribes 
formed under one banner, that is, in three separate camps 
according to their order, and each camp was like a large 
city. The camps of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun, were 

* I. e., if we include the names of the tribes. 

154 [LIII. 15 

placed in the east ; Keuben, Simeon and Gad in the south ; 
Ephraim, Benjamin and Menasseh in the west ; and Dan, 
Asher and Naphtah in the north. The Levites encamped 
between the tabernacle and the camps, on the four sides of 
the tabernacle, at a distance from the camps, but near the 
tabernacle, and kept guard in the tabernacle of the Lord. 
Moses and Aaron and his sons encamped in the east of the 
tabernacle, opposite Judah's standard. The sons of 
Kehath encamped in the south, opposite Eeuben's banner ; 
the children of Gershon in the west, opposite Ephraim's 
banner, and the children of Merari in the north, opposite 
Dan's banner. The tent of the congregation stood in the 
<3entre, surrounded on all sides by the Levites, while the 
four standards of the Israelites surrounded the Levites, and 
the clouds of glory surrounded the Israelites. That is the 
meaning of the verse, ' The angel of the Lord encamps 
round about those who fear Him.' The four standards, 
Moses, Aaron and the tabernacle, which are altogether 
seven, correspond to the seven planets, viz., Sun, Venus, 
Mercury, Moon, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, and the twelve 
tribes to the twelve constellations. 

(16) K. Ele azar asked E. Simeon, ' When the Israelites 
went out of Egypt, did they take weavers with them ?' 
■* No,' replied E. Simeon. ' How, then, did they clothe 
themselves during the whole of the forty years ?' ' The 
ministering angels clothed them, as it is said, *' And I shall 
clothe thee in fine network." *But did not the children 
grow to men ?' said he. * Learn the reply from the purple 
snail whose shell grows simultaneously with it.' Thus the 
Israelites fared, nor did they become dirty, for the clouds 
were cleansing them. Further, they did not emit a 
malodorous smell from the perspiration of their bodies, 
-although they did not change their clothes. 

(17) The well caused to grow various kinds of spices and 
sweet-smelling herbs, upon which they lay, as it is said, ' He 
will cause me to lie down in the well-watered pastures,' the 
perfume of which travelled from one end of the world to the 
other. The well of Miriam was placed at the entrance of 

LIII. 18] 155 

the court near Moses' tent, and indicated to all (the camps) 
where they were to encamp. It indicated it in this 
manner: When the curtains of the court were set up, 
the twelve pillars by the well sang the ' Shirah,' as it is 
said, * They dug the well with songs.' And the waters of the 
well swelled into rivers, one of which surrounded the camp of 
the Shechinah. From that river there issued four other 
rivers into the four corners of the court, each one of which 
flowed through the four corners, such as south-east, etc., to 
the camp of the Israelites. After passing the camp of the 
Levites, these rivers flowed together into one channel, 
encompassing first the whole camp of the Levites ; and 
flowing between each family, and surrounding the camp 
of the Shechinah, there were seen many small channels. 
Then this great river encompassed the whole camp of the 
Israelites from without, forming into smaller rivers running 
between each tribe. These rivers marked the boundary of 
each camp, so that one did not encroach upon his neighbour. 
But do not think that they obtained nothing from the 
waters, because they produced all kinds of dainties similar 
to those of the world to come, as it is written, ' Thou art a 
fountain of gardens.' And all kinds of spices grew for 
them, as it is said, ' Thy shoots are a garden of pome- 
granates .... with spikenard and saffron,' etc. 

(18) At the end of each camp on the east, west, north 
and south, there stretched an area of 4,000 cubits. Moses 
and Aaron and his sons were encamped in the east ; the 
children of Kehath in the south ; the children of Gershon 
in the west ; and the children of Merari in the north. 
Each one of them occupied 100 cubits within the 4,000. 
In addition to this there were those 4,000 cubits on each 
side. Thus the Levites occupied one-eighth of the whole 
area of the tribes. But where did the animals pasture? 
The whole encampment extended over an area of 12 
square miles, comprising the camp of the Shechinah, that 
of the Levites, and that of the camp of the Israelites. 
In the corners on each side their cattle pastured, i.e., 
opposite (or facing) their own encampment. The rivers 

156 [LIII. 18 

surrounded them from within and without, forming channels 
for them all round, so that the people had permission to 
w^alk on the Sabbath from one camp to the other. The 
cloud being spread over them, divided them from their 
cattle, as it is said, * And the cloud of the Lord rested 
over them by day.' From the splendour of the blue used 
in the tabernacle the rivers appeared blue as the blue of the 
morning and the light of the moon and the sun was 
reflected in them. When the nations beheld them from 
afar praising God, they said, ' Who are these people look- 
ing at us from the wilderness?' and fear and dread fell 
upon them all, as it is said, ' Fear and dread shall fall 
upon them.' 

The Smiting of the Firstborn. 

LIV. (1) The sages say that when God brought the 
plague of the firstborn upon the Egyptians, He started first 
upon their gods, as it is said, ' I shall execute judgment on 
all the gods of Egypt; I am the Lord.' And what was this 
smiting of their gods, since they were but images of stone ? 
They were broken up into small pieces ; every idol of wood 
rotted and became a heap of dust, and all idols of silver, 
brass, iron and lead were melted to metal sheets on the 
ground ; and when the Egyptians were drowned in the 
Eed Sea fire descended upon their gods and consumed 
them, as it is said, ' And in the abundance of Thy 
majesty. Thou wilt overthrow all those w^ho rise up against 

(2) The sages further say that before the plague of the 
firstborn descended upon them Moses went among the 
firstborn in Egypt and said to them, * Thus saith the Lord, 
About the time of midnight I shall go forth in the midst 
of the Egyptians, and all their firstborn shall die.' There- 
upon all the firstborn went to their fathers and said, ' All 
the plagues which Moses foretold have come to pass ; 
he now says that all the firstborn are to die.' * Go to 
Pharaoh,' replied their fathers, ' for he is a firstborn.' 

LIV. 4] 157 

Going to bim, they said, * Send this people away, for if you 
do not, all the firstborn will perish.' Pharaoh immediately 
ordered his servants to go and smite them, and be said, ' I 
have once declared either my soul shall be taken or those of 
the Israelites, and now you wish them to be sent away.' 
Each one of them took his sword and slew his father, 
as it is said, ' The smiting of the Egyptians by their 
firstborn.' Nevertheless, at midnight, all the firstborn were 
slain, as it is said, ' And the Lord smote all the firstborn of 
the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, i.e., his 
son, who also died. And Pharaoh and his servants arose 
in the night on that account. (3) If an Egyptian married 
five wives, having had five sons, the next day these sons 
were found dead, because they were all firstborn to their 
mothers. In the same manner, if a woman had married 
five times and had obtained a son of each husband, all 
these sons died, because they were all firstborn to their 
fathers. Thus was fulfilled the statement that 'All the 
firstborn of the land of Egypt should die.' In the event of 
a house containing no firstborn, the eldest in the house 
died. The house wherein the firstborn had died long 
before, the dead came out again from the grave and died 
anew within the house, causing great wailing. Therefore 
it is written, * There was no house into which death did 
not enter.' 

(4) As soon as Pharaoh saw that his son, the son of his 
wife, and the sons of his servants were dead, he meditated 
within him that Moses had never once yet lied to him, and 
said to his servants, ' All the time that he was near me he 
used to appease ; and he prayed before his Creator, and 
we were then healed of all our plagues. But, a little 
while ago, I was incensed against Moses, and said to 
him, " Thou shalt not any longer look upon my face." 
Therefore it is incumbent upon myself to go to seek him.' 
Pharaoh and all his servants accordingly rose from their 
beds with great weeping, and Pharaoh, going the round of 
all the streets, inquired, * Where is Moses ? Where is 
Moses ? Where does he dwell ?' When the Israelites saw 

158 [LIV. 4 

him they laughed, saymg to him, ' Pharaoh, where art 
thou going, and whom dost thou seek ?' ' It is Moses your 
master that I am searching for.' ' Here he Kves, here he 
Hves,' said the children, all the while laughing at him, 
until he at last said, 'Arise, go forth from among my 
people.' But the Israelites took no notice of him until he 
went to Moses' house and said, ' I entreat thee, my lord, 
pray to God for us.' But Moses and Aaron and all the 
Israelites were at that moment in their several houses, 
eating their paschal lambs and singing praises to the King 
of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, and sitting at 
home, and no one went out of his house, because God said 
to the Israelites, * And no man of you shall go out of his 
house until the morning.' (5) So that when Pharaoh came 
to Moses' door, Moses said to him from within his house, 
' Who art thou calling?' ' I am Pharaoh,' said he. * Why 
dost thou thyself come to me ? Surely it is not customary 
for kings to come to men's houses, and, moreover, at 
night-time.' ' I entreat thee, go forth and pray for us, for 
there is no man left in Egypt that is not dead.* ' But I 
cannot go forth, for I have heard it from the mouth of God, 
saying, " You shall not go forth." ' ' I beseech thee,' said 
Pharaoh, 'stand at the window and let me behold thy 
pleasant face.' ' But,' added Moses, ' didst thou not say to 
me, "Thou shalt no more see my face"?' 'I said this 
to thee before the firstborn died, but now they are already 
dead. Thou hast indeed never lied before me : now, 
why are they all dead ?' And Moses said, ' Dost thou 
wish them to be brought to life again ?' ' Yes,' said he. 
(6) 'If so, then raise thy voice and say, "0 children of 
Israel, behold ye are free men, behold ye are your own 
masters. Now arise and go forth from the midst of my 
people. But now ye were the servants of Pharaoh, hence- 
forward ye are the servants of God." ' These words 
Pharaoh repeated. ' Say them again.' And Pharaoh did so. 
' Say them a third time.' And Pharaoh said them a third 
time. When Pharaoh raised his voice, it was heard in all 
the land of Egypt, a distance of forty days or 400 parasangs. 

LIV. 8] 159 

(7) And in that night he called Moses and Aaron and said 
to them, ' Arise, go forth from among my people.' * But 
why dost thou trouble me the whole night ?' said Moses. 
* Because,' answered Pharaoh, ' I am a firstborn, and I fear 
lest I die.' *Do not fear this, because thou art destined 
for greatness.' And the Egyptians forced Pharaoh, and 
persuaded him to send the Israelites from among them, as 
it is said, ' And the Egyptians strengthened themselves to 
hasten the people out of their land, for they said, " Behold 
we shall all of us die." ' But God answered them, saying, 
' By your life you shall not all of you die here, but I shall 
destroy you in the sea.' When the Egyptians were 
drowned in the sea, fire descended upon their gods so that 
they were consumed. 

(8) Among these Egyptians there were two wizards 
whose names were Johanai and Mamre. As soon as they 
entered the sea and saw that the waters encompassed them, 
by means of their wiles they flew into the air as high as the 
firmament. There was not another nation in the world so 
much addicted to witchcraft as the Egyptians. Thus our 
sages have said, ' Ten measures of witchcraft descended into 
the world : nine parts the Egyptians took, and one remained 
for the rest of the world.' Johanai and Mamre were 
the princes of witchcraft, and, from their great knowledge 
of it, they ascended to the firmament ; nor were Michael 
and Gabriel able to do anything against them. They 
therefore cried to God in supplication, saying, * Lord of 
the universe, these wicked men who oppressed Thy children 
with hard bondage dare to stand here without fear, and not 
only this, but they dare to defy even Thee.' (Whence do we 
know that God Himself descended in Egypt '? Because it is 
said, ' I shall go down with thee to Egypt.') ' Now, if it is 
Thy will, Lord of the universe, execute punishment for 
Thy children.' At this God immediately ordered Metatron, 
saying, ' Throw them down and cast them to the ground, but 
be careful that they only fall into the sea.' Metatron accord- 
ingly cast them forcibly into the midst of the sea. It was 
then that the Israelites broke forth with the ' Shirah ' (the 

160 [LIV. 9 

song), 'And in the abundance of Thy majesty Thou hast 
overthrown those who rise up against Thee.' 

(9) ' The nations heard it and trembled,' The sages 
say that when the Egyptians pursued the IsraeHtes and 
beheld them, they were seized with great fear and dread, 
and did not wish to enter into the sea after them. God 
therefore sent Gabriel to them, and he appeared like a 
mare entering the sea. Pharaoh's horse immediately 
followed into the sea after it, and he was followed by all 
the Egyptians. Then spake God to Moses, saying, ' Stretch 
forth thy hand over the sea, and the waters shall return 
upon the heads of Pharaoh and his chariot and his riders.' 
Moses thus stretched forth his hand upon the sea, which 
was cleft asunder and rent. When the nations of the 
world heard the report of the exodus from Egypt, and 
the rending of the Eed Sea, they trembled, and in terror 
fled from their habitations. 


LV. (1) And the children of Israel went up from the sea, 
and they came to the wilderness. While they were 
journeying in the wilderness a quarrel broke out between 
Korah and Moses. A certain woman had a ewe-lamb which 
she fed from her bread and gave to drink from her own cup, 
so that it was as a daughter to her. When she one day 
sheared the wool of her lamb, Aaron the priest came and 
took the wool away. Going immediately to Korah, she 
said to him, ' my lord, I am exceedingly poor, my whole 
possession being but one ewe-lamb. When I sheared its 
wool for the purpose of clothing myself, for I am naked, 
Aaron the priest came up and took it away by force.' 
(2) Korah then went up to Aaron and said to him, ' Hast 
thou not sufficient with the tithes and heave-oflferings of the 
Israelites, that thou must needs take away the wool of this 
poor w^oman, who is esteemed as a dead person ?' But Aaron 
retorted, ' Thou shalt not die in the natural way. I shall 
not annul, for thy sake, one letter of the law. It is written 

LV. 7] 161 

therein, " The first of the shearing of thy flock shall be 
given to me." ' In three months' time the ewe bore a 
lamb, and Aaron came and took it away. The woman 
immediately went again to Korah and complained, ' my 
lord, behold Aaron has no compassion on me, for but 
yesterday he took away the W'Ool, and to-day he has taken 
the firstborn.' And he replied, ' The law says that every 
male firstborn of thy cattle and of thy sheep shall be 
dedicated to the Lord thy God.' (3) The woman thenw^ent 
forth and slew the ew'e, and Aaron immediately came and 
took the shoulder, the jaws and the maw. Seeing this, the 
w^oman, sorely troubled, cried, saying, ' Thou hast all the 
flesh.' ' I take all the flesh,' added Aaron, it has now 
become our portion, as it is said, " The flesh of everything 
that is dedicated belongs to thee." ' 

(4) The woman, going to Korah, related all that had 
happened, and Korah, exceedingly enraged, said to Aaron, 
' What claim hast thou upon this poor woman ? Thou 
didst first take the wool, then the firstborn, and now the 
whole ewe itself.^ ' I shall not transgress one letter of the 
law on account of thy anger, for it is said, '' All the flesh 
shall be the priest's." ' (5) Korah was then filled with wrath, 
and when God commanded Moses to tell the children of 
Israel to make for themselves fringes, Korah arose in the 
night, and w^eaving 400 garments of blue, put them on 400 
men. Then, standing before Moses, he said to him, ' Do 
these garments require fringes, as they are now made 
wholly of the rh'2r\' (blue)? Moses replied, 'Korah, does 
a house full of holy books require a Mezuzah.' 'Yes,' said 
Korah. ' So also do these garments require fringes.' 

(6) Thus the jealousy (envy) between them grew to such 
an extent that God said to Moses, ' Take the Levites, and 
thus thou shalt do to purify them.' He then made four 
decrees concerning the Levites, two of which they accepted 
and two of which they did not accept. They then said to 
Moses, ' Sprinkle upon us the water of the sin-offering, and 
w^e shall also wash our clothes, but to the heaving and the 
razor w^e shall not submit.' (7) Moses then forcibly lifted 


162 [LV. 8 

them up from the ground agamst their will. When it came 
to the decree of the shaving their bodies, Moses was not able 
to attend to them alone, so he said to the Israelites, *A 
decree has been issued concerning the Levites to pass the 
razor over their flesh, and they have refused to submit.' 
Thereupon, all the Israelites stood up, laid hold of the 
Levites by force, and made them submit. 

(8) At that time the wife of Korah said to her husband, 
' The King of Life makes both you and Moses subservient 
to Him, but now, having passed the razor over your own 
flesh and over your beards, you will be a reproach and a 
shame to all. It is surely preferable to die than to live.' 
Concerning this Scripture says, ' The wisdom of woman 
buildeth her house, but the hands of the foolish one over- 
throw it.' (9) ' The wisdom of woman buildeth her 
house.' This refers to the wife of On, the son of Peleth, 
who, when she saw that the quarrel was coming to a head, 
said to her husband, ' My lord, hearken to my counsel : 
whether Korah is the prince and thou art the pupil, or 
Moses is the prince and thou art the pupil, what avails 
thee this quarrel ? It is surely better to free thy soul from 
the punishment.' ' But what shall I do now,' he answered, 
* since I have already sworn to Korah that I shall abide by 
his counsel?' ' Thy oath will be fulfilled,' she replied, ' if 
thou sidest with Moses, since all the Israelites are holy.' 
' May I trust thee ?' said he. She answered : ' Yes.' 
Thereupon, on the day of visitation, she killed a lamb, and 
gave him to eat and to drink until he was drunk. She then 
put him to bed, and while he slept she sat at the street- 
door and uncovered her head, and combed her hair ; and 
whoever came to call for On, the son of Peleth, saw his wife 
with uncovered head, and being shamed, turned aw^ay until 
the time passed, and On was thus saved. With reference to 
this the text says, ' Hide thyself for a moment until the 
anger has passed away.' 

' But the foolish woman overthroweth it (her house) with 
her hands.' This alludes to the wife of Korah, who wickedly 
counselled her husband to quarrel with Moses, and thus he 

LV. 12] 163 

perished from this world and from the next also, as it is 
said, 'And they perished from the midst of the congregation.' 

(10) The sages say that through the deep counsel of 
Balaam the Israelites were diminished, for the sons of 
Moab and Midian took counsel together, and, gathering all 
the beautiful women of their land, they made tents for them 
and placed them therein close by the camp of the Israelites. 
And the women dwelling within the tents were decked with 
all conceivable kinds of ornaments and had every kind of 
saleable garment. At the door of the tent stood an old 
woman holding a garment for sale. Whenever any Israelite 
passed by and asked the old woman the price, she placed a 
very high value upon it, but said, ' Step inside the tent, and 
there you can choose what you desire at a low price.' As 
soon as he entered a beautiful maiden would stand up, 
beautifully decked and sprayed with scent, and, looking at 
him, say, ' I will sell thee these ornaments at a very low 
price ; and if thou desirest, I will give thee these others for 
nothing.' Before her was placed excellent strong wine. 
She would then say to him, ' Drink this cup of wine for my 
love, and I will present thee with any precious ornament 
thou mayest wish.' At this time the wine of the heathen 
was not yet a prohibited thing. He therefore would accept 
the offer and drink the wine, and as soon as he had finished 
it he would be very drunk. She then would take hold of 
him and begin kissing him, so that the evil inclination should 
burn within him, and he would lie with her. For the great 
love that sprang up between them, she would not leave him 
until at length she would say to him, ' Worship this idol for 
the love you bare me ;' and he would worship it. 

(11) Thus the Israelites sinned through fornication as it 
is said, ' And the people began to commit fornication with 
the daughters of Moab, who enticed the people to sacrifice 
to their god ; and the people ate of their sacrifices and 
bowed down to their gods.' The Lord was therefore angry 
with Israel, so that there died by a plague 24,000 men. 
(12) And all the Israelites, and all the princes, and 
Eleazar, and Pinehas, seeing the angel of destruction among 


164 [LV. 12 

the people, sat down and wept, and did not know how to act. 
Pmehas saw Zimri pubHcly going with a Midianite woman, 
and, burning with zeal, he snatched the spear from Moses. 
Some say that, raising his spear, he ran after him from 
behind, and pierced them both, so that it entered the stomach 
of the woman. On account of this God gave him and his 
sons the maw of the animals as his reward, and strengthened 
his arm. He fixed the spear in the ground, and both 
were found on the top of it, one above the other. Then 
Pinehas smote the young men of Israel without remorse, 
and dragged them, scourging them all the while, through the 
whole camp of Israel, that all should see and fear. E. 
Eleazar of Modai relates that Pinehas cast the ban of 
excommunication upon all Israel by means of the secret of 
the Ineffable Name as written upon the tables of the law — 
the terrestrial and celestial Tribunal sanctioned an excom- 
munication prohibiting every man of Israel to drink of the 
wine of the heathen. 

LVI. (1) When the ten plagues with which the Egyptians 
were smitten commenced, Siqrops fled from Egypt to the 
city of Aqtes, in Greece, which he built as the Metropolis. 
There he estabhshed the throne of the kingdom of the 
So'anites, and became the first king of the Atinisim 
(Athenians) — i.e., the So anites. After him there reigned 
seventeen kings and nineteen princes, until the reign of 
Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, King of Persia. (2) At the 
end of the Book of Joshua it is written, ' So Joshua made 
a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute 
and an ordinance in Shechem.' Joseph ben Gorion asserts 
in his book that when the heathen made a covenant, after 
shedding the blood of the calf and sprinkling it upon the 
ground, they used to say, ' Thus shall the blood of him 
who breaks this covenant which we have made be shed.' 
Joshua then issued a decree to the Israelites that they should 
pour water upon the ground instead of blood, to fulfil the 
command, ' Thou shalt not do according to their deeds.' 

(3) In those days, in the time of Joshua, there lived a 
certain man Eriqtonios, who was the first to construct 

LVIL 3] 165 

a chariot in Greece. And Cadmus, King of Egypt, went 
from Thebes C^'5'ri) and came to Tyre and Sidon, and there 
reigned. In the land of Greece there also reigned Cadmus 
Europes Tahpanhes, and he called the name of the royal 
city Tahpanhes. 

(4) Now, Danaus had fifty sons, and they took to them 
the fifty daughters of Egisates, their brother. But one 
day one of the brothers arose, and, killing all the others, 
reigned in their stead. (5) At that time, in the days of 
Othniel, Cadmus reigned in Thebes, and the city of 
Bitanya (^<^;Jt?n) was built by Tahpanhes. He first introduced 
the letters of the Greek writing. The city of Epira 
(riTQS), now called Corinthus, was also then built by Sisipo. 
Minos, the son of Eoripi (^D^"l^i^''^?), reigned then in Crete 

LVIL (1) Philo, the friend of Joseph, the son of Gorion, 
has narrated in his book that after the death of Joshua the 
Israelites did not possess a friend to lead them. So that 
the Israelites asked the Lord, ' Who shall go up before us 
to fight against the Canaanites as in the olden times?' 
And the Lord replied, ' If the heart of this people is perfect 
with the Lord, let Judah go up, but if not, nobody shall go 
up.' ' But whereby shall we know the heart of the people?' 
they asked further. And the Lord said, ' Draw lots accord- 
ing to your tribes, and the tribe which the Lord shall take 
shall assemble according to their families, and ye shall thus 
know the heart of the people.' (2) The people then 
addressed God, saying, ' Lord, appoint over us a head 
and a chief to assemble us for casting the lots, that he may 
take us out and bring us in.' And the angel of God replied, 

* Cast lots in the tribe of Caleb, and the person selected by 
lot shall be to you the head and the chief.' They did so, 
and the lot fell upon Kenaz. They therefore made him 
a prince over Israel. Kenaz then said to the people, 

* Bring me your tribes and hearken to the voice of the 
Lord.' And they came to him. 

(3) ' You know,' said he, ' that Moses, the servant of the 
Lord, commanded you, saying, ''Ye shall not depart from 

166 [LVII. 4 

the way which I commanded you in the Torah, neither to 
the right nor to the left;" this Joshua has also exhorted 
you to do. (4) Now, hear and mark my words, for the heart 
of the people is not with Him, and He has commanded us 
each tribe to approach for the lot to be cast. Let not the 
anger of the Lord be kindled against us. If I and my 
house be caught, then burn us with fire.' ' Thou hast 
spoken well,' answered the people. (5) Accordingly, the 
tribes assembled before him by lot, and of the tribe of 
Judah 345 men were taken, of Eeuben 540, of Simeon 335, 
of Levi 350, of Isaachar 665, of Zebulun 545, of Gad, 380, 
of Asher 665, of Menasseh 480, and of Ephraim 468. 
(6) Thus, the total number of those that were caught by 
lot was 6,110, all of whom Kenaz placed in a ward to inquire 
the word of the Lord concerning them, and said, ' Of such 
did Moses, the servant of the Lord, speak when he said, 
" Lest there be among you a root, a poisonous plant or 
wormwood," blessed be the Lord, who reveals our sins to 
us that we may not stumble through them.' (7) And 
Kenaz, and Eleazar the priest, and all the elders of the 
assembly, prayed to the Lord, saying, * Thou, Lord, hast 
made known unto us the men who did not believe in Thy 
wonders what Thou didst for our forefathers from the time 
when Thou didst bring them forth from the land of Egypt 
until this very day.' (8) And the Lord replied, ' Ask these 
people now to confess their iniquity, and they shall be burnt 
with fire.' And Kenaz addressed them thus, ' You know 
that Achan ben Zabdi sinned by appropriating the devoted 
spoil, was taken by lot and confessed his sin : do you also 
make a confession unto the Lord, that ye may live with 
those whom the Lord will revive at the resurrection of the 

(9) And one of them, whose name was Elah (n?^?), 
answered, ' We shall only die once by this fire. Now ask 
each tribe separately.' Kenaz thereupon commenced with 
his own tribe, the tribe of Judah. And they said, ' Behold, 
we have chosen to make a calf for ourselves, just as our 
forefathers did in the wilderness.' 

LVII. 15] 167 

(10) Coming next to the tribe of Eenben, they said, ' We 
have chosen to sacrifice to the gods of the nations.' The 
children of Levi said, ' We desired to try and test if the 
tabernacle is holy.' The children of Isaachar repHed, 
*We desired to ask the idols what will become of us.' 
(11) And the children of Zebulun, ' We wished to eat the 
flesh of our sons and our daughters, to know whether 
the Lord loved them.' The children of Dan rephed, ' We 
desired to teach our sons what we learned from the 
Amorites ; behold, their books are hidden and concealed 
under the Mount Ebarim, where thou wilt find them.' And 
Kenaz sent for them and found them. 

(12) Coming next to Naphtali, they answered, ' We have 
done all that the Amorites have done, and hidden them (?) 
in the tent of Elah, who requested thee to ask each tribe 
separately.' And Kenaz sent for them and found them 
there. (13) Then the sons of Gad said, ' We have lain with 
the wives of our neighbours.' And the sons of Asher said, 

* We found seven golden idols, which the Amorites called 
''The holy ones of Ninfe," C^V^) ; and upon them were 
many precious stones. We hid them beneath Mount 
Shechem. Send thither now and thou wilt find them.' 
He acted accordingly and found them. These were the 
idols which informed the Amorites at certain periods the 
deeds they should perform. 

(14) Now, these are the names of the seven sinners that 
made them after the Flood: Canaan, Phut, Shelah, Nimrod, 
Elah, Diul, and Shuah. Nor was their work like that of 
ordinary artificers. The precious stones they brought from 
Havilah, where the bdelKum and the onyx are found. 
These were the stones used by the Amorites for their idols. 
In the night they shone as the light of day, and when the 
blind Amorites kissed the idols and touched their eyes they 
could see. Kenaz then placed them in a ward until he 
knew what was to become of them. (15) Continuing his 
questions, Kenaz came to Menasseh, who said, ' W^e have 
not observed the Sabbath to sanctify it.' Ephraim answered, 

* We have been pleased to pass our sons and our daughters 

168 [LVIT. 16 

through the fire, accordmg to the custom of the Amorites.' 
And Benjamin said, ' We desired to test whether the law of 
God emanated from God or from Moses.' Kenaz thereupon 
entered all their replies in a book and recited them before 
the Lord. 

(16) And the Lord said, 'Take these men, and everything 
that belongs to them, and bring them down to the river 
Pishon. There shalt thou burn them with fire.' ' Shall 
we also burn,' asked Kenaz, ' the precious stones which 
are priceless or shall we dedicate them to Thee?' And 
the Lord answered, ' If God would take of the accursed, 
why then not also man ? (17) Take the books and the 
precious stones and keep them until I make known to thee 
what thou shalt do with them and how thou shalt destroy 
them, because fire will not consume them ; but the men 
shall be consumed with fire. And they shall say to all the 
people, *' Thus shall be done to the man who turneth his 
heart away from the Lord." (18) When they are consumed 
by the fire, then take the precious stones which fire will 
not injure, and which iron will not break, and place them 
on the top of the mountain by the side of the new altar, 
and there I shall command the thick clouds to cause their 
dew to fall upon them and thus destroy them ; and I 
shall command My angels to take these stones and cast 
them into the depths of the sea, so that they shall no more 
be seen, and to bring up to Me instead of them twelve 
stones more precious than those. These thou shalt place 
in the ephod and in the breast-plate, and sanctify them 
to Me.' 

(19) Accordingly Kenaz, fetching everything found upon 
these sinners, said to the people, ' Ye have seen the 
miracles and the wonders which the Lord has shown us 
until this very day, and how He has made known unto us 
these sinning men so that they have been requited according 
to their deeds. (20) Now, cursed be the man who acts in the 
same manner in Israel.' And the people answered, 'Amen.' 
Thus those men perished in the flames. After this, Kenaz 
wished to test the stones in the fire, but the fire was extin- 

LVII. 25] 169 

guished. He then took the iron and tried to crush them in 
pieces, but the iron shpped away from them. (21) Even the 
books he placed in water, in order to destroy them, but the 
water became dry upon them. Kenaz then burst forth in 
praise of God, saying, 'Blessed be the Lord, for this day He 
has wrought miracles and wonders with the sons of man, 
when they sinned and did not deny their guilt.' He then 
took the stones and the books of the law, and placed them 
•on the mount by the new altar, just as God had commanded 
him ; and upon the altar he offered sacrifices of peace- 
offerings, and all the people ate there together. 

(22) On that night the Lord did with those stones and 
hooks just as He had spoken, and in the morning Kenaz 
found twelve precious stones, upon which were engraved 
the names of the sons of Israel. And the Lord said, ' Take 
these stones and place them in the ark together with the 
tables of the law, until Solomon shall have built a temple 
dedicated to My name, and shall place them on two 
<jherubim, and it shall be to Me as a memorial of the 
children of Israel. (23) And it shall come to pass, when 
the sin of the children of man shall have been completed 
by defiling My temple, which they will have made, that I 
shall take these stones, together with the tables of the law, 
and shall put them in the place whence they were taken of 
old, and there shall they remain until the end of the world, 
when I shall visit the inhabitants of the earth ; and then I 
shall take them up, and they shall be as an everlasting hght 
to those who love Me and keep My commandments. The 
moon shall be confounded and the sun ashamed before that 
light, for it shall be seven times more powerful than either 
of them.' (24) Then Kenaz said, ' Behold the innumerable 
good actions which God has done for man, and of which 
they have been deprived through their sins ; now I know 
that man's work is nothing and his life vanity.' 

(25) When he took the stones from the place where they 
were put, they illumined the whole earth just as the sun 
at noonday. He put them in the ark of the testimony, 
together with the tables of the Covenant, just as the 

170 [LVII. 26 

Lord had commanded, and there they remain until this 
very day. 

(26) Having chosen 300,000 armed men of war, on the 
second day he waged war with their enemies and slew of 
them 5,000. On the third day the people spoke against 
Kenaz, saying, ' Behold Kenaz stays in his house with his 
wives and his concubines; whilst we arm ourselves for 
battle and destroy our enemies.' (27) The servants of 
Kenaz, hearing of this, told their master. And he 
commanded them to summon before him the captains of 
fifties, and ordered them to place those thirty-seven men in 
prison who had spoken evilly against him ; and they acted 

(28) He then said, ' When the Lord shall work salvation 
for His people, will I order the death of these men.' He 
commanded the captains of the fifties, saying, 'Go and 
choose 300 of my servants and 300 horses. Let it not 
become known that we are going to battle, and let them be 
ready to march with me to-night.' 

(29) Sending spies to view the position of the Amorites' 
encampment, they saw at once that the Amorites were too 
mighty for the Israelites to fight against. The spies, there- 
fore, returned and reported to Kenaz. (30) He rose up in 
the middle of the night, holding a shofar in his hand, and 
taking with him 300 men. "When he approached the camp 
he said to his servants, ' Stay here while I alone go and look 
at the camp of the Amorites ; but as soon as you hear the 
sound of the shofar, come to me, but if you do not hear it, 
then return home.' (31) Kenaz thus went down to the camp 
alone, and he prayed to God, saying, ' Lord God of our 
fathers. Thou hast shown Thy servants all the great wonders 
which Thou hast performed : do Thou now likewise work 
Thy miracles with Thy servant, and I will go to battle 
against Thine enemy, that all the nations may know that 
Thy hand is not too short to send salvation either by means 
of a multitude or by a few, for Thou Lord art mighty in 
war.' (32) And Kenaz continued, ' Let this be the sign of 
the salvation which Thou wilt show me this day. If when 

LVII. 36] 171 

I draw my sword from its sheath and brandish it so that it 
glitters in the camp of the Amorites, the latter know that 
I am Kenaz, I shall then know that Thou wilt deliver them 
into my hand; and if not, then I shall know that Thou hast 
not heard my prayer, but hast delivered me into the hand 
of the enemy for my sins.' (33) After this Kenaz overheard 
the Amorites say, ' Let us arise and fight against the 
Israelites, for our holy gods Ninfe {'?^r^) are in their posses- 
sion, and they will deliver them into our hands.' At that 
moment the Spirit of God rested upon Kenaz, so that he 
rose up, and brandished his sword against the Amorites ; 
and when they saw it they exclaimed, ' Behold, this is the 
sword of Kenaz, to afflict us with wounds and gashes ; but 
we know that our gods which are with them will deliver 
them into our hands. Now arise and give them battle.' 

(34) When Kenaz heard their words, he went down to 
the camp of the Amorites and smote them, and the Lord 
sent the angel Gabriel to afflict the Amorites with blindness, 
so that they killed each other. And Kenaz slew of them 
45,000. (35) Now, when Kenaz had finished the slaughter, 
it happened that his sword clave to his hand, and, noticing 
an Amorite fleeing from the camp, he said to him, ' Behold, 
thou knowest what I have done to the Amorites ; now tell 
me, pray, by what means I can separate my sword from my 
hand.' And the Amorite answered, ' Slay a Hebrew and 
pour his warm blood over thy hand, and it will be separated.' 
Kenaz then slew that Amorite, and pouring his blood upon 
his hand, separated it from his sword. Then returning to 
his army, he found them all asleep, for a deep sleep had 
fallen upon them, so that they did not know what Kenaz 
had done in the night. When they awoke from their sleep 
and saw the whole plain full of dead men they expressed 
great astonishment; at which Kenaz said, 'Are the ways 
of God like the ways of man ? The Lord hath sent salva- 
tion through me to His people; now arise and return to 
your tents.' 

(36) As soon as all the Israelites heard of the salvation 
which the Lord had wrought through the hand of Kenaz, 

172 [LVII. 37 

they went forth to meet him, saymg, ' Blessed be the Lord, 
who appointed thee to be the captain of His people, for now 
we know that the Lord has chosen His people.' And Kenaz 
replied, ' Ask the men who were with me of the work I have 
done.' On asking them, they rephed, ' As the Lord liveth, 
we do not know, for we found the plain full of dead bodies.' 
(37) After this Kenaz ordered the captains of the fifties to 
bring forth the prisoners, that they might obtain a hearing. 
When they were brought before him he said to them, ' Now, 
what is the complaint you have against me?' And they 
replied, ' Why dost thou ask us, seeing that the Lord has 
delivered us into thy hands, and commanded that we should 
be burnt, not for our complaint, but in connection with those 
former men who confessed their iniquity. We were not found 
out among the people when we had joined the sinners. It 
was for this that the Lord has delivered us into your 
hands.' Kenaz then said, ' Since you thus testify against 
yourselves, why should I withhold you from your punish- 
ment ?' They were, therefore, ordered to be burnt to death 
in the flames. (38) Now, the days of the life of Kenaz were 
drawing to a close, and he called the two prophets Pinehas 
and Jabin, and also Pinehas, the son of Eleazar the priest, 
and said to them, ' I know the heart of this people, for they 
will turn from following the Lord. I therefore testify against 
them.' And Pinehas said, ' Just as Moses and Joshua testi- 
fied, so do I testify against them ; for they prophesied con- 
cerning the vineyard, the beautiful plantation of God which 
did not know its planter, and did not recognise its worker, 
so that the vineyard was destroyed and did not give forth its 
fruit. These are the words which my father commanded me 
to tell this people.' Kenaz then lifted up his voice and wept 
aloud, as did all the elders and the people until the evening, 
when they said, ' Is it for the iniquity of the sheep that the 
shepherd must perish ? May the Lord have compassion 
upon His inheritance that they may not work in vain.' 

(89) And the Spirit of the Lord came upon Kenaz, so 
that he prophesied, saying, * I have seen what I had not 
hoped for, and have looked upon what I had not imagined. 

LVIII. 1] 173 

(40) Behold, I saw a flame ^Yllicll did not burn, and I heard 
in my dream the noise of the rushing of waters which had 
no source and no way upon the mountains, and no base 
in the air, but they appeared according to their form. 
They had no fixed place, and since the eye does not know 
what to see, how can the heart understand it ? (41) From 
this flame which was not burning I saw a spark fly out and 
remain in the air as a shield, as a spider's web in a beam. 
Then I saw that this was the base and its source vomited 
hot foam, and became changed to the foundation of the 
deep, and ways (paths) were between the upper and lower 
bases ; there shone the hidden light, and beings, in the form 
of men, were walking about. And then I heard a voice 
saying, '' Between these foundations (bases) shall the sons 
of man dwell 7,000 years, when the lower foundation shall 
be destroyed, and the upper one which is like hot foam 
shall be the foundation, and the light which is between them 
and illumines the path of man is Jerusalem, and there the 
men will dwell. But when the sons of man shall sin 
against Me, and the time of their sinning shall have been 
completed, then shall the spark be extinguished, and the 
fountain dry up, and everything pass away." ' 

(42) When Kenaz had thus finished prophesying, the 
spirit of his soul returned to him, and he no longer knew 
what he had uttered in his prophecy. He then said to the 
people, ' If such be the rest which the righteous obtain after 
their death, it would be preferable for them to die at their 
birth in this world and not sin.' And Kenaz died, and 
Othniel his son arose in his stead. 

LVIII. (1) Josippon says that the incident of Micah and 
the concubine of Gibeah occurred between the time of the 
death of Joshua and Othniel, between the times to which 
the following verses refer, viz. : ' And Judah captured Azah 
and its boundary, and Ekron and Askalon '; and the other, 
' And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of 
the Lord, and He delivered them into the hands of the 
Canaanites. Then the children of Dan built Laish and the 
mountain.' For the purpose of enabling us to calculate 

174 [LVIII. 2 

the days of the judges, this portion was placed at the end 
of the Book of Judges. 

(2) After Othniel came Ehud. At that time, in the days 
of Ehud, the city Cinnereth in Lybia (i^^i^h) was built, and 
many ships were built by Tritolymus (^•iD^'plonp), for 
carrying wheat, for merchandise. Dionysius built the city 
of Niza, in Media ; Troy (^^'-no) was built about the same 
time in Dardania. There a dog killed Piritius (c^'i^-Dn^s), 
and attempted to slay Tisius, and Heraclones (^^^'t^^nn) 
saved him. In the sixty-ninth year of Ehud the city Sirine 
(^;n>v) in Libia was built. (3) Shamgar succeeded him, 
and was followed by Deborah and Barak, who fought with 
Sisera. And the Lord confounded Sisera and all his 
charioteers and his whole camp with a fierce tempest ; and 
He overwhelmed them all with hail, and blinding rain and 
lightnings and thunders, so that they could no longer stand, 
but fell by the sword. 

(4) Sisera then fled on foot to the tent of Jael, who went 
out to meet him and embraced him. Then, covering him 
well, he fell into a deep sleep. And Jael prayed to God, 
saying, ' I pray Thee, Lord, strengthen Thy handmaid 
against Thy enemy, and by this I shall know that Thou 
wilt deliver him into my hand, viz., if I bring him down 
from his bed on to the ground, and he does not awake.' 
She did accordingly. Then, taking a nail of the tent and 
a hammer, she knocked the nail into his temple, according to 
Deborah's prophecy. And Barak captured Hasor and slew 
its king, and all its inhabitants. 

(5) Now, when Sisera went out to fight against Israel 
his mother, Tamar, with her maidens and princesses, by 
means of their enchantments prophesied, saying that Sisera 
would bring as spoil one or more of the women of Israel 
with their coloured garments, for she saw in her charms 
that he would lie upon the bed of Jael, the wife of Heber, 
and be covered with a coloured garment of needlework. 
Therefore she said, ' A damsel, two damsels to every 

(6) At that time the kings of Argos, who had reigned for 

Lvm. 10] 175 

544 years, were destroyed and exterminated, and their 
kingdom passed into the hands of Mesenes (t^':;^*''^). In tiie 
thirty-ninth year of Deborah's reign the city of Meletus 
was built. Gideon succeeded Barak and Deborah. He 
asked a sign of the Lord from the fleece of wool. (7) I find 
that Gideon asked for yet another sign, for he said, ' Give 
me a sign that God has chosen me to deliver Israel just as 
He gave to Moses, who delivered the Israelites from Egypt.' 
And the angel replied, ' Run and fetch me some water from 
that pool and pour it upon this rock. I shall then give 
thee a sign.' Having done as he was requested, the angel 
said, ' Tell me, shall this water be turned into blood or 
fire ?' And Gideon answered, ' Let part of it be turned into 
fire and part into blood.' And thus it was, the blood 
neither quenching the fire, nor the fire drymg up the blood. 

(8) At that time, during the reign of Gideon, Mercorius 
(::*-ii<nip'^p) discovered certain islands called Sirenes (C!^^^^t^') ; 
in Ashkenaz they are called Nikes (Nix) (^'i?.\^). The inhabi- 
tants were like beautiful women, their lower parts resembling 
fishes ; and the inhabitants of the forests of the islands 
were half men and the other half wild animals and horses. 
The wise man Dialus, by means of his cunning (IN^p^s^p'px), 
made images and idols and birds of gold and brass, and 
having breathed into them, the idols spoke and the images 
prophesied while the birds flew about, for he was exceed- 
ingly clever in this art. The city of Tyre was built 240 
years before the Temple at Jerusalem. (9) After Gideon 
Abimelech, the son of his concubine, succeeded him, and at 
that time the measure of the Kor (nn) and the art of playing 
upon the timbrel were discovered in Greece. Tola, the son 
of Phua, succeeded Abimelech. During his reign Erkules 
(^^•1P7^) conquered Anteos (D-"i5<''rijis), in Lybia, in the water, 
and destroyed the city of Elios (DikS^'pvs) ^Yhen Priamus 
reigned in Troy. 

(10) Yair the Gileadite rose up after him. He made an 
altar unto Baal, and all the Israelites turned after it and 
worshipped Baal, except seven righteous men, who did not 
worship it. These were their names, Da'al, Abi Yezre'el, 

176 [LViii. 10 

Gutiel, Shalom, Ashchor, Jonadab, and Shim'i. These said 
to Yair, ' We remember what Moses commanded Israel, 
saymg, " Take care lest ye tm*n aside from following the 
Lord to worship Baal." ' Yair then commanded his 
servants to bm^n those men with fire, because they spoke 
against Baal. Then, taking the men they cast them into 
the fire, but the fire swerved from them and burned instead 
the servants of Yair who cast them therein, together with 
all his household. And these seven men escaped from the 
fire and went on their way, for the men round about them 
were struck with blindness so that they could not see them, 
and the fire reached the house of Yair, who heard the voice 
of the Lord, saying, ' I have promoted thee to be a judge 
over Israel ; but thou hast corrupted the people and caused 
them to turn aside from following the Lord and to worship 
Baal, and those who remain steadfast to Me thou hast 
burned with fire. But they shall live, and thou shalt die 
by being consumed in the flames which shall never be 
extinguished.' Thus the Lord consumed Yair and all his 
house, and Baal with 10,000 of his followers ; and Yair was 
buried in Qamon. 

(11) At that time Theseus captured Helena, but Castor 
and Pollux, the brothers of Theseus, and his mother, were 
captured. The city of Carthage (Qar Laini, ^rxDip) was 
then built. Nizpa (^^Iv^) invented the Latin alphabet. 

LIX. (1) Yair was succeeded by Jephthah the Gileadite, 
who delivered the Israelites from the hands of the 
Ammonites. And Jephthah and all Israel prayed to God 
in Mizpah, saying, ' We pray Thee, Lord, save us, and 
do not deliver Thy inheritance to the slaughter and Thy 
vineyard to be a spoil. Eemember, we beseech Thee, the 
vine which Thou hast planted and which Thou hast brought 
up from Egypt.' Jephthah then sent messengers to Giteal 
('^^^D^), King of the Ammonites, saying, 'What dost thou 
want, since thou hast come to me ?' etc. 

(2) And the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and 
he went out to wage war against the Ammonites ; and he 
made a vow unto the Lord, saying, ' If Thou wilt deliver 

LIX. 5] 177 

the Ammonites into my hand, then that ^Yhich cometh 
forth from my house to meet me on my peaceful return 
from the Ammonites shall he the Lord's, and I shall offer 
it to God as a hurnt-offering.' And Jephthah smote the 
Ammonites so that they were humhled before the Israel- 
ites. "When Jephthah returned to Mizpah, behold, all 
the virgins and women came forth with timbrels and 
dances to meet him, and his daughter, the only child he 
had, went in front of the others and was the first to greet 

(3) When, however, he saw her, he rent his garments, 
saying, ' Alas ! my daughter, thou hast sorely grieved and 
troubled me. Who will put my heart and my flesh in 
one pan of the scale to see it go down? for thou hast 
grieved me sorely at the feast in honour of my victories in 
battle, for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and now^ 
I am not able to retract.' 

(4) Then said his daughter Seelah (^^^^•f), 'Why dost 
thou grieve for my death, since the Lord hath wrought 
vengeance for thee upon thine enemies ? Eemember our 
forefathers, one of whom offered up his son as a burnt- 
offering, and the offerer and the offered were both accepted 
by God. Therefore, my father, do unto me as thou hast 
spoken. But before I die I will ask thee a favour. Grant 
me two months' liberty, that I may during that time pray 
unto Him to whom I return my soul. I shall go upon the 
mountains and sojourn among the hills ; I shall tread 
the clefts of the rock and lament my virginity, I and 
my companions ; there I shall shed my tears and thus 
soften the grief of my youth. The trees of the field shall 
w^eep for me, and the wild beasts of the fields shall mourn 
for me ; but I do not grieve for my death, nor do I grieve 
that I must give up my soul on account of the vow which 
my father made to sacrifice me as a holocaust to God. 
The one thing I fear, however, is that the offering of my 
soul may not be accepted, that my death shall have been 
for nothing.' 

(5) Her father having granted her request, she went forth 


178 [LIX. 6 

with her maidens and told the sages of her people, but 
they answered not a word. She then went up to the 
mount Tlag (^^r>), and the Lord remembered her in the 
night, saying, 'Behold, I have closed the mouth of the 
sages of My people, so that they answered not the daughter 
of Jephthah ; now her soul shall be accepted at her request, 
and her death shall be very precious in My sight, for the 
wisdom of the sage belongs to her.' 

(6) Seelah, the daughter of Jephthah, then fell upon her 
mother's bosom, and went on the mountain of Tlag weeping, 
and bewailed her fate in these words, ' Hearken, ye moun- 
tains, to the lamentation of my grief ; mark, ye hills, the 
tears of mine eyes ; and ye clefts of the rocks, testify to the 
weeping of my soul. Alas ! how has my soul been delivered 
to death ! but not in vain ; my words will be atoned for in 
heaven, and my tears shall be written on the firmament, 
for the father who has vowed to sacrifice his daughter did 
not have compassion on her. He did not listen to his 
princes, but said that he would confirm his vow by ofiering 
his only daughter. I have not beheld my bridal canopy, 
nor has the crown of my betrothal been completed. 
I have not been decked with the lovely ornaments of the 
bride who sits in her virginity, nor have I been perfumed 
with the myrrh and the sweet- smelling (odoriferous) aloe. 
(7) I have not been anointed with the oil of anointment 
that was prepared for me. Alas ! my mother, it was in 
vain that thou didst give me birth. Behold, thine only one 
is destined for the bridal chamber of the grave. Thou 
hast wearied thyself for me to no purpose. The oil with 
which I was anointed will be wasted, and the white 
garments with which I was clothed the moths will eat ; 
the garlands of my crown with which thou hast exalted 
me will wither and dry up, and my garments of fine 
needlework in blue and purple the worm shall destroy. 
And now my friends will lament all the days of my 
mourning; the trees shall incline their branches and 
their shoots and weep for my youth. The beasts of the 
forest shall come together and trample upon my virginity, 

Lix. 11] 179 

for my years are cut off and the days of my life grow old 
in darkness.' 

(8) It came to pass, at the end of two months, that she 
returned to her father. He then fulfilled the vow he had 
made, and the virgins of Israel buried her, and mourned 
for her, and from time immemorial the daughters of Israel 
have adhered to the custom of devoting four days in the 
year to Jephthah's daughter. At the time of the death of 
Jephthah's daughter Ercules committed suicide by throw- 
ing himself in the fire, and was consumed by the flames. 
(9) Ibsan, of Bethlehem, succeeded Jephthah, and was 
followed by Elon the Zebulonite. About this time 
Alexander captured Helena (for his wife). (10) After Elon 
•came Abdon, the son of Hillel the Pirathonite. During his 
reign the royal city of Troy was captured, and 406 years 
after its capture began the Olympiad, for after the victory 
of the Greeks they began to calculate their Olympiad, which 
consisted of four years, just as we calculate the date from 
the destruction of the temple. Then Menelaus and 
Helena came to Egypt, and in the third year after the 
•capture of Troy Agnios reigned over Italy, where Janus, 
Saturnus, Ficus, and Faunus reigned. Three years after 
the capture of Troy — some say eight years — Aeneas ruled 
the empire, and during his reign there arose the city of 
Kome — i.e., the Latini, so called because the inhabitants 
spoke the Latin language. In the reign of Ahaz, King 
•of Judah, two twin brothers were born, Eemus and 
Eomulus, who founded the great city. They were the first 
kings of Eome, and reigned in Kome thirty-eight years. 
(11) In the ' Shocher Tob ' I have found it narrated that at 
the birth of these twins their mother died from the pangs 
of travail, and that God prepared a young she- wolf to 
suckle them until they were grown up. Eomulus it was who 
built the city of Eome. At the end of the reign of Hezekiah, 
King of Judah, Huma Pompilius (C'-ix^S^D^ls s?D-in) suc- 
•ceeded Eomulus and reigned forty-one years. He added 
two months to the calendar year, viz., Januarius and 
Februarius (c'-vxnn:;iD), which were not included in the 


180 [LIX. 12 

Koman year, which origmally consisted of ten months. At 
the end of the reign of Menasseh, King of Judah, Tullus 
OstiHus succeeded Numa, and reigned for thirty-two years. 
This Tullus, King of Eome, was the first person to clothe 
himself in purple robes. 

(12) We now return to the judges. Many people say 
that in the days of Abdon, the son of Hillel the Pirath- 
onite, occurred the incidents of Gibeah and Micah. Micah 
acted just as his mother bade him. He made for him- 
self three images of man, and three of calves, and the 
likeness of an eagle, lion, and serpent. Whoever desired 
to obtain sons had to pray to the images of man ; who- 
ever desired riches had to entreat the eagle; whoever 
wished for strength had to entreat the hon; whoever desired 
sons and daughters had to beseech the calves ; whoever 
desired long life had to entreat the serpent ; and whoever 
desired something of everything had to entreat the dove. 
Thus all the Israelites went astray, forsook the Lord, and 
worshi]3ped these idols, so that the Lord sold them to the 
nations of the earth ; but when they at intervals repented 
the Lord visited them. 

(13) It came to pass, when the Israelites, on account of 
the concubine who was found dead in Gibeah, waged war 
against the tribe of Dan (!) that they were smitten by the 
Danites (!), so that on that day 22,000 men of them were 
destroyed. The Israelites, then going up, wept before the 
Lord until the evening, and said, ' Let us ask of the Lord, 
saying, ''What is this iniquity through which we have 
stumbled?'" Thus they asked the Lord, saying, 'Shall 
we still continue to wage war against Benjamin our 
brother?' And the Lord replied, 'Go up, and I shall 
afterwards make known to you whereby ye have stumbled.' 
On the second day they accordingly went forth again to 
battle with Benjamin, and there fell of the Israelites 
18,000 more men. The Israelites then went up to Bethel, 
for there the ark of the Lord was placed, and on that 
day they wept and fasted until the evening, and they 
offered Ijurnt-offerings and peace-offerings unto the Lord. 

LIX. 17] 181 

(14) Then Pinehas, the son of Eleazar the priest, prayed unto 
God, saymg, ' Lord God, if what we have done was con- 
sidered right in Thine eyes, why hast Thou caused us to 
fall into the hands of our brother? And if it was evil in Thy 
sight what these have done, why have we fallen before 
them? I pray Thee, tell Thy servant in whom this iniquity 
rests and we shall set it right, for, behold, I remember 
what I have done. In my jealousy I pierced Zimri with 
the sword, and Thou didst deliver me from his people, and 
didst slay of them 24,000 men. Now Thou didst say to 
the tribes of Israel, " Go up and fight Avith Benjamin." ' 

(15) The Lord heard the entreaty of Pinehas, and said, 
' The Israelites showed their zeal for Me in this wickedness 
which was committed (in Gibeah), but they do not show it 
against Micah and his idols, who caused all the Israelites to 
go astray after them. Therefore, I was jealous, and wreaked 
my vengeance on them, for they were astounded at the one 
sin of the concubine and wanted to root it out, but they did 
not root out the worshippers of Micah's idols. Now, let the 
Israelites go up once more against Benjamin, and to- 
morrow I shall deliver him into their hands.' (16) Thus 
the Lord smote Benjamin before the Israelites, so that there 
fell 18,000 men. The total number of the Benjaminites 
that were slain was 25,000 ; 600 of them fled to the cleft of 
Pvimmon and escaped. The Israelites then had pity upon 
their brother Benjamin, and made peace with those that 
remained, restoring them to their inheritance, where they 
built cities and dwelt therein; and the Israelites went 
each one to his tribe and his inheritance. 

(17) Now, the days of Pinehas drew nigh to die, and 
the Lord said to him, 'To-day thou art 120 years old, 
which are the years of a man's life ; now arise and get 
thee to My mountain, where thou shalt remain many 
days. I shall command the ravens and the eagles to feed 
thee, but do not go down until the end has arrived. Then 
thou shalt close the heavens, and at thy command they 
shall again be opened. And then thou shalt be lifted up 
to the (Divine) place, where thy fathers have been before 

182 [LX. 1 

thee, and there thou shalt remam until I remember the 
world.' And Pinehas, the son of Eleazar the priest, did as 
God had commanded him. 

The Eight Exiles. 

LX. (1) From the time our ancestors were brought out 
of Egypt until the destruction of the first temple they were 
exiled eight times. This happened on the following occa- 
sions : Four times Sennacherib banished them, and four 
times Nebuchadnezzar. The first time Sennacherib, King 
of Assyria, going up to Jerusalem, sent the tribes of Keuben, 
Gad, and the half- tribe of Menasseh into exile, and captured 
the golden calf which Jeroboam had placed in Dan ; and the 
children of Gad and Reuben had brought it up from Dan, 
and made a holy temple (sanctuary) for it. For this they 
were exiled from the land of their possession to another 
land until this very day. When Sennacherib banished them 
he made them dwell in Lahlah, Habor, the river Gozan, 
and the cities of Media. At that time Pekah, the son of 
Remalyahu, reigned over Israel. When Hosea, the son of 
Elah, perceived that the armies of Pekah were considerably 
diminished, he went out to war against him and killed him. 
He reigned over Israel, in Samaria, five years. This was 
the first exile. 

(2) When Sennacherib heard of this he went up against 
Hosea, the son of Elah, and fought against him, and Hosea, 
the son of Elah, going to Sennacherib, gave him a present 
of silver and gold and brought him the golden calf, which 
Jeroboam had placed in Bethel. After this he (Sennacherib) 
exiled the tribes of Asher, Zebulun, Naphtali, and Isaachar, 
because they refused to allow Hosea, the son of Elah, to 
reign over them. He then appointed Hosea, the son of 
Elah, over Samaria, and thus fulfilled the scriptural passage, 
' Thus saith the Lord, Just as the shepherd delivers two 
legs, or the tip of the ear, from the clutches of the lion, so 
shall the Israelites be rescued (that sit in Samaria) in 
the corner of a couch, and in Damascus on a bed.' 

LX. 5] 183 

And Hosea, the son of Elah, reigned over Israel, and Ahaz 
over Judah. This was the second exile. 

(3) When this king died Hezekiah reigned over the 
whole of Judah, and at the beginning of the fourth year of 
Hezekiah's reign Sennacherib went up against Samaria and 
besieged it for three years, in the third (!) year of Hezekiah's 
reign, and he exiled the tribes of Ephraim and Menasseh 
from Samaria. This was the third exile. 

(4) After an interval of five years he mustered together 
the Babylonians, Kuthim, Avim, the B'ne Hamath, and the 
Sapharvaim, and then going against Judah, besieged all 
the fortified cities in Judah, among the 150 places in 
which were the tribes of Judah and Simeon. He besieged 
them and took them captive, and sought to bring them to 
Lahlah and Habor, to the other tribes. Hearing that 
Tirhakah, King of Ethiopia, whose land was near Egypt, 
had rebelled against him, he took with him the tribes of 
Judah and Simeon, and ascended the mountains of Ethiopia 
to wage war with the Ethiopian king, and to test the strength 
of the tribes of Judah and Simeon. He then took these 
tribes and concealed them behind the mountains of dark- 
ness on the other side of the rivers of Ethiopia. Concerning 
them the prophetess 'Athrai (^nni;), the daughter of Pusai 
{^''^)b), prophesied, ' They shall bring my offering.' This 
was the fourth captivity brought about by Sennacherib, 
King of Assyria. 

(5) There remained in Jerusalem of the tribes of Judah 
and Benjamin 130,000, over whom the righteous Hezekiah 
reigned. Sennacherib, King of Assyria, now once more 
became proud, and setting his face towards the holy city 
of Jerusalem, he assembled all his host, to the number 
of 40,000 and 2,590,000 warriors, and went up to besiege 
Jerusalem. When Hezekiah saw the great multitude he 
was greatly afraid, and, praying to the Lord, he called upon 
the people of Judah and Benjamin to proclaim a fast. 
Then, covering themselves with sackcloth, they went into 
the house of the Lord, and, repenting with all their heart, 
they cried unto the Lord, and He heard the prayer of the 

184 [LX. 6 

righteous Hezekiah, and sent His angel who smote the 
Assyrian camp, slaying 185,000 men, together with the 
kings and princes. Not one of the kings and princes of 
his army remained except Sennacherib and Nebuchad- 
nezzar. Thus Isaiah's prophecy was fulfilled, who said, 
' On that day the Lord shall shave with a razor that is 
hired, the parts beyond the river of Ethiopia, even the 
King of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet ; and it 
shall also consume the beard.' The head represents the 
kings, the hair of the feet represents the armies, and the 
beard the wicked Sannacherib, whose two sons slew him. 
From the fall of Sennacherib to the time of Nebuchadnezzar 
passed 107 years. 

(6) In the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim the 
decree was sealed on account of the sins of the Israelites, 
and the remnant of those who were delivered from the 
mouth of the lion and the mouth of the bear, the remnant 
of Judah and Benjamin, and the rest of the people that 
remained of the tribes were banished by Nebuchadnezzar 
during his first captivity. Of the tribes of Judah and Ben- 
jamin 3,023, and of the remaining tribes 7,000. All these 
were warriors skilled in the art of battle, but their sin 
lay heavy upon them, and he exiled them to Babylon. This 
was the first captivity brought about by Nebuchadnezzar. 

(7) After an interval of seven years he went up to 
Jerusalem for the second time, and besieging it, he captured 
it, and exiled of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin 4,600 
men, and of the remaining tribes 10,000, together with 
the free and the imprisoned, i.e., the kings and queens. 
Others explain the words tnn and -liDO to refer to the pupils 
of the sages who study the Torah, and thus open and shut 
the books. In the time of David these people were called 
Kerethi and Pelethi. Yet another explanation makes the 
words refer to the mighty men of Judah and their children. 
All these were banished through Jechoniah and his sons. 
This constituted the second captivity of Nebuchadnezzar. 

(8) He made Zedekiah King of Judah, over which and 
Jerusalem he reigned eleven years. In the nineteenth year 

LX. loj 185 

of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, while he ^Yas yet seated 
on the throne of his kingdom, he sent Nebuzaraddan, his 
captain of the guard, against Jerusalem. Having besieged 
it, he caught Zedekiah, and bringing him to Eiblah, to the 
King of Babylon, he executed his judgment upon him. He 
then took the pillars, the sea of brass, and all the vessels of 
the house of the Lord, and the bases which Solomon had 
made, and the treasures found in Jerusalem, and carried 
them to Babylon. In Jerusalem he slew 940,000 (?) men, 
besides those he slew in avenging the blood of Zechariah. 

(9) He also besieged sixty cities of the Levites, the 
sons of Moses, in which there were 600,000 men, as we 
know from the verses, 'And the sons of Moses were Gershom 
and Eliezer ; and of the sons of Eliezer the eldest was 
Piehabya,' and it is said, ' And the children of Piehabya con- 
tinually increased, i.e., increased beyond the number of 
600,000 men.' The total number of those exiled from 
Jerusalem was 802,000, all of whom consisted of the 
youths of Judah and Benjamin. Concerning them the 
prophet says, 'And he exiled the flower of Judah,' so 
that there only remained in Jerusalem the poverty of 
the people, as it is said, ' The people of the land which 
Nebuzaraddan left were vile,' etc. He made the son of 
Ahikam king over them, and giving the land over to him, 
the exiles were carried to Babylon, which constituted the 
third exile. 

(10) When Ishmael, the son of Netaniah, of the royal 
seed, heard that Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, was appointed 
over the remnant of the people, he came in stealth and 
slew him and all his men. The Israelites were exceedingly 
afraid of this and fled to Egypt, in the twenty- seventh year 
of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, when he besieged Tyre, and 
<3apturing it, killed all its inhabitants and sent its king into 
captivity. On his return he went to Egypt, captured it, 
and reduced it to desolation, thus fulfilling the prophecy of 
Scripture, ' Egypt shall be a desolation.' He then slew all 
the Jews found in Ammon and Moab, and in the surround- 
ing parts of Egypt. There, in Egypt, he discovered the 

186 [LX. 11 

prophet Jeremiah and Baruch, the son of Neriya, and carried 
them to Babylon. When the IsraeHtes dwelling in Egypt 
heard that Nebuchadnezzar had announced his intention to 
come there, in fear and trembling they fled to Anion, a 
little fortified city in Egypt, near the Salt Sea. This was 
the fourth captivity through Nebuchadnezzar. 

(11) When Jeremiah saw that scarcely any of the 
Israelites were left, he lifted up his heart in prayer to God, 
saying, 'Why dost Thou cause me to see grief and iniquity? 
Why hast Thou caused the flock of Thy chosen people to 
fall into the hands of their enemy ? I am sorely grieved 
and my soul is crushed within me, and mine eye sheddeth 
tears, and ceaseth not, for the destruction of the daughter 
of my people am I hurt. Mine eye weepeth with my soul, 
and for this do I weep day and night. Therefore do I pour 
forth my supplication before Thee that Thou wilt take my 
soul from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.' 
A voice was forthwith heard to say, ' By thy life wait, and 
behold the downfall of Babylon. Afterwards I shall pre- 
serve thee until I build the everlasting building.' Imme- 
diately upon these words, God hid him. 

The Children of Moses. 

LXI. (1) The banishment brought about by Titus, 
Vespasianus, and Hadrian, occurred on the eve of the 
ninth of Ab, on the outgoing of the Sabbath and the 
Sabbatical year. The Levites were then occupied with 
their ministrations, and, with their harps in their hands, 
were singing their hymns. But Scripture saith, ' He hath 
brought upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them 
off in their own evil.' The words ' He shall cut them off ' 
were not yet fully attered ere their enemies came upon 
them, slaughtered man}^ of them, and sent the rest into 
exile. Thus, also, when Nebuchadnezzar the wicked sent 
them into exile it fell upon the eve of the ninth of Ab, 
the outgoing of the Sabbatical year and the Sabbath, 
when the Levites were standing on their 'Duchan,' being 
sixty myriads in number, who were, moreover, of the seed 

LXI. 4] 187 

of Moses our instructor. While the harps were in their 
hands, the verse ' He hath brought upon them their own 
iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own evil,' was- 
not yet fully uttered, ere the enemy came and exiled them 
to Babylon. When they arrived in Babylon, their enemies- 
and captors said to them, ' Sing us a song of Zion.' And 
they replied, ' How can we sing a song of Zion upon strange 
ground ?' 

(2) ' Now,' retorted their captors, ' ye shall sing by force.' 
But they at once cut off' their fingers with their teeth, and 
cast them before them. And they replied, ' How can those 
fingers which struck the strings of the harps in the temple 
strike them here in a strange land ?' And God exclaimed, 
*If I forget Jerusalem, My right hand shall be forgotten.' 

(3) A cloud then descended, and lifting all the children 
of Moses, with their sheep and cattle, brought them to the 
east of Havila. In the night they were let down, and on 
that same night they heard a great noise surrounding them, 
like that of a river, without seeing a drop of water de- 
scending, but heard only the rolling of stones and sand, 
where there had never been a river. This river then rolled 
great stones, and the sand, without any water, made a noise 
as of a great earthquake, so that if anyone came near that 
river, he was dashed to pieces. This continued until the 
Sabbath. The river they called Sabbatyon or Sabbatianus. 
In some part the river is less than sixty cubits in width ; 
there the people stand and speak with those of the other 
side. On the Sabbath it ceases to flow, and on the eve of 
Sabbath a cloud descends full of smoke. No one is able 
to approach them, neither do they approach us. There 
are no wild beasts, no unclean animals, nor any reptiles or 
creeping things ; nothing except their flocks and herds. 
(4) They reap and sow, and they ask the others, and 
thus they learned of the destruction of the second temple. 
Behind the sons of Moses we do not know who may be 
dwelling ; but Naphtali, Gad, and Asher came to Dan after 
the destruction of the second temple ; for Isaachar, who lived 
at the mountains of the deep, quarrelled with them and 

188 [LXII. 1 

called them ' the sons of the handmaids.' At length, bemg 
afraid lest they be coming to battle, those three tribes went 
away until they came to Dan, and these four tribes were 
thus living in one place. 

The Ten Banishments of the Sanhedkim. 

LXII. (1) The Levites, the sons of Moses, made ten 
journeys and encamped on the other side of the river 
Sabbatyon. Our sages say that when the Israelites were 
exiled to Babylon, and came to the Euphrates, as it is said, 
' We sat by the waters of Babylon,' etc., they said to them, 
' Levites, stand up before our gods, and sing a song just 
as you sang in the temple.' But they replied, ' ye fools, 
if we had sung a song of thanksgiving for every miracle 
which God wrought for us, we should not have been 
exiled from our land, but would, on the contrary, have 
added honour upon honour ; and shall we now sing a 
song to your idols ?' Being angered at this reply, they 
immediately rose up and slew the Jews in heaps, and 
although the slaughter was so great, yet their joy had 
ceased, because the Jews did not worship idols. Therefore 
it is said, ' Their joy was turned into wailing.' The re- 
maining Levites then cut off their fingers that they might 
avoid playing on their harps ; so that when they were told 
to play and sing on their harps, just as they had done in 
the temple, they showed them their mutilated fingers. 

(2) When night came on a cloud covered them, together 
with their wives, and sons, and daughters, and the Lord 
gave them light by a pillar of fire, which showed them the 
way the whole night until the dawn of day, and brought 
them to the seashore. When the sun rose the cloud 
departed as well as the pillar of fire. And the Lord 
extended the length of the river Sabbatianus, so that it 
surrounded them completely. It hems them in so that no 
one can cross over to them, and He extended it all round 
to a distance of nine months' journey. The river surrounds 
them from three sides, and on the fourth is the sea. The 

LXII. 5] 189 

depth of the river is 200 cubits, and it is full of sand and 
stones. The noise is that of an earthquake, and reaches 
the distance of half a day's journey, and causes the sand 
and stones to roll all the six days of the week. 

(3) But on the Sabbath it rests, and immediately a 
fire bursts forth from the western side, which lasts from 
the eve of Sabbath until the end. Its flames shoot out in 
every direction, so that one can not approach nearer the 
river than a distance of thirty-four miles, and this fire 
burns all round and consumes everything. There is not 
seen among them any unclean animal or bird, and no 
creeping thing, but only their flocks and herds. There 
are six fountains, which gather together and form one 
pool. From these they water the land and obtain in 
abundance all kinds of clean fishes, and all kinds of birds 
and fruits. They sow one seed and reap a hundred- 
fold. They are men of faith, students of the Law, the 
Scripture, Mishna and Agadah. They are pious and 
pure and never swear falsely. They attain the ripe old 
age of 120 years, nor does a son or daughter die in the 
lifetime of their father. (4) They see three successive 
generations and build for themselves houses ; they sow 
and plough themselves, because they have no manservants 
or maidservants. They do not close their houses in the 
night-time, and a young child walks fearlessly with the 
cattle for many a day, without having any fear either of 
robbers or of an}^ possible injury, because they are holy 
and remained in the holiness of Moses our teacher. There- 
fore God gave them all this and chose them. They do not 
see any man, nor does any of the sons of men see them, 
except the four tribes, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher, all 
of whom dwell on the other side of the rivers of Kush, with 
the Sabbatyon between them, and there they will remain 
until the end of the world. Concerning them it is said, 
' To say to the captives " Go out," ' viz., referring to those 
behind the river Sabbatyon. 

(5) There the tribes of Dan, Naphtah, Gad, and Asher, 
were enclosed. The question as to how they arrived at that 

190 [LXII. 6 

place our sages have thus answered : When Jeroboam, the 
son of Nebat, sinned, and caused Israel to sin, and the 
house of David became separated from the ten tribes of 
Israel, he said to the people, ' Go ye forth and fight with 
Eehoboam and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.' But they 
said, ' Wherefore should we go to war against our brethren, 
against the house of our master, David, King of Israel and 
Judah ?' And the elders of Israel said to him, ' In all 
the land of Israel there do not exist such mighty warriors 
and men so trained to battle as those of the tribe of Dan.' 
Then, commanding them forthwith to wage war with Judah, 
they said, ' By the life of Dan, our forefather, we shall 
never go to battle with our brethren, and we shall not 
shed their blood without any cause.' And immediately 
afterwards the sons of Dan, taking up their swords and 
spears and bows, determined to fight unto death with 
Jeroboam, but God saved them from the crime of 
shedding the blood of their brethren. (6) They spread 
the news then throughout the whole tribe of Dan, and 
ihe sons of Dan took counsel together to depart from 
Canaan and to go down to Egypt to destroy it and kill 
all its inhabitants. But their princes asked, ' Why will 
you go to Egypt? Is it not written in the Torah, ''Ye 
shall never again behold them " ?' At this they gave way, 
but again took counsel concerning Edom, Moab, and the 
Ammonites. When, however, they heard that God had 
withheld Israel from fighting them they again gave up 
their intentions, until the Lord advised them better what 
tio do. So they went to the brook of Pishon, and journeyed 
■on their camels until they arrived at the other side of 
the river Pishon. There they discovered that the country 
was fruitful and extensive, containing fruitful fields and 
gardens. The sons of Dan therefore determined to dwell 
there, and made a covenant with the inhabitants, the sons 
of Kush, who paid them tribute, and also dwelt among 
them until they increased and multiplied exceedingly. 

(7) On the death of Sennacherib the three tribes of Gad, 
Asher, and NaphtaH left the country, and travelled until 

LXII. 10] 191 

they arrived near the border of that tribe, when they 
slaughtered the Kushites, a distance of four days' journey. 
They war with six Kushite kings, which every tribe con- 
tinues to do for three months in the year until this very 
day, each tribe separately, but the descendants of Simeon 
go with those of Dan. (8) The Levites journeyed and en- 
camped in Havila, which abounds in gold, that is as common 
as stones, also in sheep, cattle, camels, asses, and horses. 
There they sow and reap, and dwell in tents made of skin. 
They journey from one border to another, a distance of 
four days each way ; and where they encamp there no man 
dares enter, and they only stay in the fields and vineyards, 
and punish in accordance with the different kinds of capital 
punishments meted out by the Jewish Law. Concerning 
them it is said, ' Those on the other side of the mountains 
of Kush,' etc. 

(9) The tribe of Isaachar dwell on the mountains of 
the great deep in the nethermost parts of Media and 
Persia, and there they fulfil the commandment, ' the book 
of the Torah shall not depart from their mouth;' nor 
do they take upon themselves the yoke of any earthly 
kingdom, but only the yoke of Heaven and the yoke of 
the Law. They have many captains of the army, but 
never fight with man, but discuss the Torah. They dwell 
in peace and tranquillity, and no rebellious thought or evil 
of any kind enters their minds. They possess a country 
whose area covers land of ten days' journey, and they 
have an abundance of cattle, camels, and servants, but 
do not breed horses, nor do they possess any warlike 
instruments, except knives for preparing food, and to kill 
the animals for that purpose. They are men of great faith, 
hating oppression or robbery. If even their servant finds 
money by the way they will not stretch forth their hand 
to take it. (10) But their wicked neighbours worship 
fire, and take their mothers and their sisters to wives. 
They neither till the ground, nor reap, nor gather in the 
harvest, but they purchase it for money. They have a 
judge and a chief who metes out the four capital punish- 

192 [LXII. 11 

ments. They speak the Hebrew and Persian languages, 
and that of Ivedar. 

(11) The children of Zebulun encamp on the mountains 
of Paran, and pitch tents made of the hair of Armania 
(i^^jDnx) and stretch as far as the Euphrates. The tribe 
of Pieuben dwells opposite them behind the mountains of 
Paran, and between them there is love, unity, and peace. 
They infest the roads leading to Mecoth ()yD) and the 
way to Babylon. All their spoil they divide equally 
between them, and food is so cheap that two camel-loads 
can be bought for two drachmas. They speak among 
themselves the language of Kedar, and possess the Bible, 
Mishna, Talmud, and Agadoth. But every Sabbath a 
lecture is given in Hebrew, and interpreted in the 
language of Kedar. (12) The tribe of Ephraim and half 
the tribe of Menasseh dwells opposite the city of Meyuqa 
(^?prn). They have to toil for their living by the sweat of 
their brow% and are hard-hearted. They are riders of 
horses, infesting the roads, and having pity on no man. 
They possess no money, but only the spoil they acquire 
from their enemies. They are a distance of six months' 
march from the temple, and their numbers are incalculable 
and without number. They exact tribute from twenty-five 
kingdoms, as well as from a portion of Ishmael, but the 
tribes of Judah and Benjamin are scattered over the whole 
world. 'May the Eock of Israel gather together our 
dispersed brethren. Amen.' 

Elchanan the Merchant. 

LXni. (1) The story of Elchanan. Elchanan, the son 
of Joseph, w^as a large export merchant, and owned many 
vessels. He hailed from the province of the tribe of Dan, 
and was exceedingly wise and pious. He passed the day in 
praying, maintaining the poor, and giving a helping hand 
to orphan boys and girls. By means of his great skill he 
made a ship containing sixty chambers, of which each one 
of his servants made one for himself and his goods. In 

Lxm. 4] 193 

the centre of the vessel he constructed a tower which 
enabled him to see all his servants and their chambers. 
All the rooms were placed far away from his, and his 
servants could also not easily enter their neighbour's com- 
partment, nor make any designs upon his propertj^ 

(2) Elchanan himself was a mighty man of valour, as 
were also his sons, being altogether four in the tower. The 
ship was loaded with 10,000 talents' worth of pepper, 10,000 
talents' worth of frankincense, 10,000 of calamus and cinna- 
mon, 1,000 litres of machik (p^DO), which they call saffron 
(]n i:^), and every other kind of spice, filling the whole 
vessel from top to bottom. Some of the servants appointed 
to guard the merchandise were Jews and others Ishmaelites. 
Besides these, there were, of course, the sailors. He had 
with him also 10,000 talents of silver to buy beautiful 
garments in various parts of the world. 

(3) He acted as captain himself. His intention was to 
travel to a large kingdom, but was overtaken by a severe 
storm, which resulted in his ship drifting on to the sand in 
the Sea of Havila. (4) There E. Elchanan came across a 
certain people who spoke Hebrew. ' Who are ye ?' said he. 
' We are descendants of Dan,' answered they. And they 
forthwith invited him among them, and did very great 
honour to him, for E. Elchanan was beautiful and majestic in 
appearance. He then told them all his trouble and every- 
thing that befell him, and asked them many questions how 
they came to that place. Thereupon they related to him all 
their adventures. At the time when Jeroboam resigned, he 
said to the Israelites, ' Go ye and wage war with Eehoboam, 
the son of David.' And then the elders told him. Among all 
the tribes of Israel there is not one containing such mighty 
men of war and men so trained to battle as the tribe of 
Dan, and that they should therefore go to battle with 
Eehoboam and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thereupon 
he (Jeroboam) said to them, ' Arise, ye sons of Dan, and 
fight the men of Judah.' But they replied, ' By the life 
of our father, Dan, we shall never go against our brothers 
the house of David and against the King of Judah, and 


194 [LXIII. 5 

why should ^Ye shed mnocent blood ?' ' If that is so,' 
said he, 'then depart from this land of Canaan.' For 
Jeroboam had made two calves of gold, by which he caused 
Israel to sin, so that the kingdom of the house of David 
was divided from that time. (5) They then took counsel 
against the Egyptians to destroy their land and kill its 
inhabitants. But their chiefs said to them, ' Is it not written 
in the Torah, "Ye shall no more see them?" How can 
we therefore go down to Egypt?' They then had designs 
(counselled) against Edom, Ammon and Moab, but found 
it stated in the Torah that God had forbidden Israel to 
inherit their borderland. But God gave them good advice, 
and they left the land and marched until they reached the 
brook of Pishon, a journey of seven years from Canaan. 
Then, journeying upon camels, they came to Kush, i.e., 
Havila, a land both rich and fertile, abounding in fields, 
vineyards, gardens and palaces. There they dwelt by the 
sea, where there were Ethiopians without number. (6) The 
news of their advent having reached the ears of the king, 
they gathered themselves together as one man, and said, 
' It is better for us to die all on one day than little by 
little by the hand of this strange nation.' The Kushite 
kings, numbering sixty-five, encamped on the one side of 
the brook of Pishon, facing the others, the town being 
between the two hosts. The descendants of Dan, consist- 
ing of 200,000 foot, took their bows in their hands and 
crossed the brook, and a battle took place by the water, in 
which twenty -five Ethiopian kings were slain. Each one 
of these kings possessed 1,000 horsemen and 80,000 

(7) Soon after this, the descendants of Dan, while they 
w^ere in their camp, heard a great shouting and a loud noise 
of trumpets. Almost immediately they set up a great 
shouting themselves, for about 300,000 men of the tribes 
of NaphtaH, as well as of Gad and Asher, had come to 
their assistance on their horses, and said, ' Brethren, ye 
must be weary now ; rest until the morrow, and we shall 
join you.' Accordingly, on the morrow they slew all the 

LXiil. 10] 195 

kings of Kush, and, taking all the spoil, divided it by 
lot, the silver and gold being as plentiful as stones. The 
land of Havila measured a distance of a square, one side of 
which would take four months to travel, each of the four 
tribes occupying one side. There they dwell now securely. 
Concerning them it is written, ' How good and how pleasant 
it is for brothers to dwell together.' A king is appointed 
over them, and they have an abundance of sheep and oxen, 
silver and gold, horses, camels and asses ; and they sow 
and gather in the harvest. The king and the judges 
appointed by themselves give battle every day to the kings 
of Kush and to strange kingdoms. 

(8) These are the names of the kingdoms : Zaqlah the 
first (or the Eastern), Batuah, Qelalah, Arirah, 'Adirah, 
Zeridah, Zaryonah, Latusqah (npD^n:'), Tirah, Tiqunah, 
Qomah, Qalmah, Ahalah, Aholibah, Eiphtah, Saqvah, 
Qadvah (Qadovah), and Horiyah. They converse with 
each of these peoples in their own language, and, having 
made a covenant with them, they dwell by the rivers of 
Kush called ' Zahab Tob,' which is on the border of the 
land of Havila. 

(9) These four tribes having given battle to these strange 
kings, they (the kings) brought them presents. Concerning 
this it is written, " Othri, the daughter of Pusi ('^*12), shall 
bring them gifts. . . .' They possess vineyards and large 
fields, and dwell in tents made of hair, and no stranger 
can enter the land of Havila. Therein also dwells their 
king, Abiel, the son of Shaphat, and also the captain of 
the host, Abihail, the son of Shaphat, both of them of the 
tribe of Dan. When the trumpeter sounds the trumpet, the 
captain of the host comes forth with the armies, consisting 
of 173 banners, under each one serving 1,500 men of each 
tribe, and just as they go out, so they return. 

(10) Then the second tribe comes forth, each of the four 
tribes serving three months. Each tribe keeps its own 
spoil, and they converse with each other in Hebrew, and in 
the language of Kedar, and they are all of them pious men. 
I dwelt among them for twelve months. 


196 [LXiii. 11 

(11) They inflict the four capital punishments in accord- 
ance with the decisions of the Beth Din. The tribe of Moses 
is also among them, as it is said, ' And all the children of 
Levi gathered unto him.' They encamp by the brook of 
Kedron, together with scattered remnants of the exiles. 
The brook is called Sambatyon (|Vt:::rD5<t:0, which encom- 
passes them with a radius of two months' walk. They 
sleep in houses built like towers, nor is any unclean bird or 
animal found among them, not even flies, or gnats, or 
vermin, but only their flocks and herds, which breed twice 
every year. Nor is there any scorpion or serpent. They 
reap a hundredfold for every measure of corn they sow, and 
they possess all kinds of fruits, herbs, spelt, leeks, melons, 
onions and garlic. They are living together as one nation, 
and possess many wells, from the waters of which all the 
lands are irrigated. They also possess all kinds of spices, 
and round about them there fly about all manner of clean 
birds. The river, the sand and stones continue in a 
whirl during the six days of the week, but on the Sabbath 
they rest. On the eve of every Sabbath a flaming fire 
ascends from one side of the river, so that no one can 
approach it until the Sabbath has come to an end. No 
man has ever seen these flames of the river Sambatyon 
except the descendants of Dan, Asher, Gad and Naphtali. 
They alone commune with them, and with reference to 
them it is said, ' To say to those that are bound. Go 
forth,' etc. 

(12) They have an abundance of silver and gold ; they 
sow and reap, and grow the worms that make the crimson 
colour, and they make unto themselves beautiful garments 
and robes, and they are more numerous than they were 
when they left Egypt. Concerning these four tribes it is 
written, ' Ah ! the land of the rustling of wings which is 
beyond the rivers of Kush.' The river Sambatyon is four 
cubits wide, as far as a bowshot reaches. The noise it 
makes is exceedingly loud, like the billows of the sea and 
like a mighty tempest, and in the night-time the sound is 
heard at a distance of half a day's journey. If sand from 

Lxm. 15] 197 

that river is placed in a flask, it whirls about during the six 
days of the week, but on the Sabbath it rests. 

(13) The four tribes, together with their cattle, go 
near the river Sambatyon to shear their flock, for the 
land is plain and smooth, where neither thorns nor herbs 
grow. When the descendants of Moses see them, they 
assemble at the side of the brook, and, raising their 
voices, say, ' children of Dan, show us a camel, or ass, 
or dog.' And they exclaim, ' How long is this camel ! 
and see the length of its neck! How short its ear is! 
It is very ugly!' These men are pious and charitable, 
besides being well versed in the Torah, Mishna, and 
Talmud. When they study they use to say, 'We have 
received this by tradition from Joshua and Moses, our 
teachers, and from God.' They do not know the other 
sages and their traditions are written down in the language 
in which our teacher Moses delivered them to them. The 
laws of the killing of animals are according to the words of 
the sages. They never swore by the name of God. 

(14) But the children of Dan did so, and the children of 
Levi said to them, ' Why do ye take the name of God (in 
vain) ? for has He not given thee bread to eat and water to 
drink ? Why do ye therefore do this thing ? Know now 
that your sons and your daughters shall die in their youth 
on account of your iniquities, but as for us, no son or 
daughter shall die in the lifetime of their father, but shall 
live to the ripe age of 120.' These people do not possess 
any manservants or maidservants, since they are them- 
selves skilled workmen and merchants. They have shutters 
with which to close their shops, but never do so because 
there are no thieves. It is usual for a child to go a 
distance of several days with the cattle, without any fear of 
wild beasts, evil spirits, demons or injurious beings, since 
they are pure and still sanctified with the holiness of 
Moses our teacher, as it is said, ' For they shall eat the 
fruit of their actions.' 

(15) The children of Isaachar are as numerous as the 
sand of the sea, without number. They dwell on the 

198 [LXIII. 15 

mountains of the deep, behind the land of the Medes and 
Persians, and a distance of four months' journey from those 
who dwell by the brook of Pishon. The law does not depart 
from their mouth, thus fulfilling the command, ' The 
Torah shall not depart from thy mouth ; thou shalt 
meditate upon it day and night.' They accepted no 
earthly yoke, but only the yoke of the kingdom of heaven, 
and do not fight with their fellow-men, but discuss the 
Talmud and the Torah. They live in peace and 
tranquillity, with no injurious thought or evil of any kind 
to tempt them, and dwell on an area of thirteen days' 
journey in each direction. Silver and gold, servants, 
camels, flocks and herds, they have in plenty, but they 
breed none. The only warlike instruments they use are 
knives for killing the sheep, oxen and birds. They 
receive a tribute from the heathen kingdoms, of all 
produce, a fourth, and of the oxen and sheep a fifth every 
year. From this tribute they accumulate immense riches. 
They have judges and they inflict the four capital punish- 
ments according to the decisions of the Beth Din. They 
converse in the Hebrew language and in that of Kedar. 

(16) I dwelt among them for a period of two months, 
and then, takmg my departure on board ship, I fell in 
among the tribe of Zebulun, who dwell on the mountains 
of Paran, in tents of hair, in the land of Lud and Pul. 
Entering their land, I found them to be farmers, tilling the 
ground and reaping the harvest. They possess all kinds 
of dainties and are men of valour. For four months they 
go out to plunder, fighting and robbing people of their 
riches. They possess the Torah, the Talmud and 
Mishna, and are men of great faith, who observe all the 
Commandments. They are also good riders, having 
innumerable servants, horses, sheep and oxen, as well as 
camels and asses. They dwell in peace and tranquillity, 
where no man can intrude. 

(17) Thence, after six days' journey, I came to the tribe 
of Reuben, opposite them, between Paran and Bethel, where 
they dwell without war. Concerning them it is written. 

LXIII. 19] 199 

' And I shall cause the wild heast to cease from the land, 
and no sword shall pass over their land.' In the midst 
of the mountains of darkness they possess a fertile and 
fruitful land, the stones of which are iron, and from the 
mountains of which brass is hewn. It is a land in which 
one could eat his bread without any danger, for no man 
passes among them. They watch the roads and capture 
spoil without end. They dwell safely in tents of hair, 
and speak the Hebrew language and another strange 
one (ti;^). 

(18) Thence I came to an extensive land by way of 
Shin ar, through Elam ; it was the kingdom of Mehumat 
(nDinD) on the border of Madia, a distance of four months' 
journey from the city of (Medinat). I saw the river 
Gozan (|Ti:i), and a part of the tribes of Ephraim and 
Menasseh, who were harsh and hard-hearted. They also 
are good riders, watching the roads, and having pity on 
no man. All their possessions were plunder. They are 
men of valour and skilled in war ; one of them alone 
could smite a thousand men. Among themselves a large 
amount of food could be obtained for two pieces of silver, 
and grapes could be obtained in the same way. Concern- 
ing them it is said, ' Five of you shall pursue 100, and 
100 of you 10,000.' 

(19) A half of the tribe of Simeon lives together with 
the tribe of Judah in the land of the Chasdim, near 
Jerusalem, a distance of four months' journey. They 
are countless and innumerable, and their faces are 
like lions' faces. They are all of them proficient riders, 
archers, spearsmen, and swordsmen, and dwell in tents 
made of hair, in a wilderness the extent of which is 
a journey of two months each way. They receive 
tribute from twenty-five kings, all of whom are white, 
some belonging to the Ishmaelites and others to the 
descendants of Keturah. They wage war with heathen 
kingdoms, always seeking battle. They journey the 
way of Mathol ('p^rdo), and the way of Babylon, until 
the city of the madman {V})^}^) ; in all directions they 

200 [LXIII. 20 

journey with their cattle from border to border, and nobody 
ever dares speak to them. Among themselves they speak 
Hebrew and Greek, and are men of faith, skilled in the 
Torah, Talmud, Mishna, and Agada, and also spoke the 
language of Togarma. 

(20) I dwelt among the sons of Judah and Simeon for 
three years, until merchants from the land of the Danites 
came to buy the spoil of which they had great quantities, 
and also spices captured from merchants on the way, and 
which they had acquired for nothing. I travelled with 
them on board ship until we came to Elam, after a 
journey of four months. After the lapse of ten years from 
the day I departed from the Danites I returned. Those 
heathen whose land I passed through, and among whom 
the tribes dwell, were some of them worshippers of the 
earth, while some worshipped fire, and others worshipped 
a white horse and were cannibals. [End of the words of 
K. Elchanan the Danite. I have heard that this E. Elchanan 
was simple and upright, eschewing evil, and fearing God. 
He came from the land of India. ^] 

The Midrash of Ahab ben Qolaya and Zedekiah ben 

LXIV. (1) 'Thus saith the Lord of Ahab ben Qolaya 
and of Zedekiah ben Ma'aseyah, which prophesy falsely in 
My name, behold I will deliver them into the hand of 
Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, and he shall slay them 
before your very eyes. From them a curse shall be taken 
up by all the captivity of Judah and Israel in Babylon, 
saying, ''May the Lord make thee like Zedekiah and 
Ahab, whom the King of Babylon 'roasted' in the fire." ' 
It is not said, 'They were burnt,' but 'roasted.' K. Johanan, 
in the name of R. Simeon ben Johai, said, ' We learn from 

1 Here follows in the MS. the Hebrew translation of Daniel, which 
is therefore omitted in the English translation ; and then the history 
of Bel and the Dragon, and the ' Song of Three Children,' translated 
and pubhshed by me in the Proceedings of the Society of Biblical 
Archceology, 1894-95. 

LXIV. 4] 201 

the above that He made them hke parched ears of corn.' 
' Because they committed abomination in Israel, they com- 
mitted adultery with the wives of their neighbours, and 
spoke falsely in My name that which I had not commanded 
them, even I who know^ and testify against them, saith 
the Lord.' (2) Ahab went to the daughter of Nebuchad- 
nezzar, and said to her, ' The Lord said, " Hearken to 
Zedekiah, and there shall come forth from thee kings and 
prophets who will prophesy against Israel." ' Hearing 
this, Zedekiah also went to her, and said, ' In the same 
manner as Ahab has said about me, so also listen to him, 
and there shall come forth from thee kings and prophets who 
will prophesy against Israel.' When she heard this, she 
immediately went to her father and told him all that had 
happened, saying, ' Thus and thus did Ahab and Zedekiah 
say unto me.' And her father replied, ' The God of these 
men hateth lewdness. As soon as they come to thee a 
second time again send them to me.' When they came, 
she accordingly said to them, ' I cannot do anything 
without my father's knowledge ; therefore, go ye to my 
father, and, placing your request before him, listen to his 

(3) Going to Nebuchadnezzar, they repeated what they 
had told his daughter. And he replied, ' What is the 
cause of it that your God did not tell this prophecy to 
Hananya, Mishael, and Azariah ? Are they not prophets ?' 
And they said, ' He did not command Hananya, Mishael, 
and Azariah to do anything, but it w^as us He commanded 
to do this thing.' At this Nebuchadnezzar retorted, *I asked 
Hananya, Mishael, and Azariah, saying, ''Is this thing which 
you ask my daughter prohibited or permitted?" "It is 
prohibited," said they.' 'But we are prophets,' answered 
Zedekiah and Ahab, ' as they. He did not command them 
but us to do this thing.' (4) ' I desire, then, to test you as 
I tested Hananya, Mishael, and Azariah, viz., in the fiery 
furnace.' ' But they were three, and we are only two,' 
added they. ' Then choose ye one whomsoever ye wish to 
be tried with you.' And they said, ' We desire Joshua the 

202 [LXIV. 5 

son of Jehozadak, the high priest.' They knew that his 
merit was so great that he would protect them also. 
Accordingly the three of them were brought and cast into 
the fiery furnace. Ahab and Zedekiah were consumed by 
the fire, but Joshua, the high priest, was not touched 
by it ; his garments merely smelt of fire, as it is said, ' He 
showed me Joshua, the high priest, standing before the 
angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to 
tempt him.' It is further written, * And the Lord said unto 
Satan, " The Lord rebuke thee, Satan ; the Lord who 
chose Jerusalem shall rebuke thee. Is this not a brand 
plucked out of the fire ?' 

(5) ' I know now,' said Nebuchadnezzar, 'that thou art 
very righteous, but how is it that thy garments were touched 
a little by the fire, while in the case of Hananya, Mishael, and 
Azariah the fire did not touch them at all ?' ' Because,' 
said Joshua, 'they were three and I was alone.' 'But,' 
said he, ' Abraham was also alone.' ' True, but there were 
no wicked people in his company, and the Lord therefore 
did not allow the fire to touch him ; but with me there were 
two wicked men, and on this account the Lord allowed the 
fire to touch me a little.' This is the parable of the two 
dry torches and the one moist, where the two dry ones burn 
the moist. 

The History of Susanna. 

LXV. (1) There dwelt a man in Babylon named Jehoiachin, 
and he took a wife whose name was Susanna, one that 
feared the Lord. She was the daughter of righteous and 
good parents, who brought her up in the ways of the Lord, 
according to the precepts of the law of Moses. Now, this 
man Jehoiachin was greater and more respected than any 
of his generation. To him all the Jews resorted daily, for 
no one like him w^as found among God's people. He had 
a beautiful garden adjoining his house, where his wife 
Susanna used to retire for bathing. (2) At this time two 
judges were appointed over the people, who came in the 
early morning and evening to Jehoiachin's house to deliver 

LXV. 5] 203 

judgment to the people. But when they heheld the beautiful 
Susanna their lust was inflamed towards her. They re- 
nounced their hope in heavenly reward, and, whilst sepa- 
rating themselves from the righteous, yet neither one 
revealed to the other the evil thought of his heart. But 
when the crowd had dispersed to their homes, they spoke 
to each other, and then, confessing their lust to each other, 
they took counsel together in which way they might lead 
her astray, and, watching diligently every day to defile 
her, they neither stopped nor rested from their sin. 

(3) One day when all the people had departed to their 
homes they remained behind according to custom, nor did 
they remove the evil of their heart, but lay in wait to 
commit the evil. When Susanna entered the garden 
accompanied by her maids to wash herself on account of 
the heat, she sent them to bring her some oil wherewith to 
anoint herself, at the same time telling them to close the 
door behind them. When they went out they accordingly 
bolted the doors after them, but the old men w^ere concealed 
in the beautiful garden, and when she stripped to wash 
they ran out of their hiding-place, and, taking hold of her, 
said, ' Lie with us, for if thou wilt not consent we shall 
bear witness against thee that a young man has lain with 
thee.' In fear and trembling she then said, 'What am I 
to do ? I cannot escape these men. It is better for me 
to resign myself to the Lord, the righteous, the good, the 
great, the mighty, and the awe-inspiring God, the Deliverer, 
Saviour, and mighty Kedeemer, whose name is the Lord of 
Hosts.' (4) Then, raising her voice on high, she cried, 
* Save me, Lord my God, from the hands of the wicked 
who rebel against Thee.' But they also cried aloud, and 
bore false witness against her. At their cry the men of her 
house came forth, and, entering the garden, beheld the 
elders bearing this testimony against her, and they and all 
their kindred were astonished, since they knew that the like 
of this was not seen or heard of her. 

(5) On the morrow all the people gathered together to 
the house of Jehoiachin according to their custom, and 

204 [LXV. 6 

with them the elders who rose up and testified that they 
had seen this woman enter the garden with her two maids, 
and that a young man came and lay with her. ' We then 
took hold of the young man, but he slipped from our 
hands.' The people believed their words, for the elders 
were held to be good and God-fearing men. 

(6) Then, sending for the woman, they brought her, and 
there came wdth her her relatives, friends, and acquaint- 
ances ; but she was very feeble, and came there with her 
face covered. But the elders cried angrily from their evil 
desires, ' Kemove the veil from her face !' that they might 
satisfy the wickedness of their eyes, and, condemning her to 
death, they led her forth. Then, raising her eyes on high, 
she said, ' truthful and righteous Judge, faithful 
Witness, behold me and save me from a death through false 
witnesses ; let me not be found a sinner in the sight of all 
these people ; and let not the words of these wicked men be 
fulfilled against me.' 

(7) And the Lord heard her cry and sent a helper, for 
the Lord aroused the spirit of Daniel, who raised his 
voice, and said, ' Lord God, clear us of the death of this 
righteous woman.' Hearing this, the people asked, 'Who 
art thou that speaketh ?' And they replied, ' The voice is 
that of Daniel ;' he was then a young man in the king's 
household and a chamberlain in his palace. * But why 
dost thou speak in this manner ?' And he said, ' Will ye 
condemn to death one in Israel without investigation? 
Will ye slay the innocent and the righteous in a manner 
contrary to the law ? Eeturn to me, that I may investigate 
the matter.' 

(8) The woman and all the people then returned, and 
the elders who bore witness against her said to him, ' Why 
does my Lord say, she is not to die, since she has done such 
and such a thing ?' And Daniel said to the people, ' Be ye 
seated ;' and they sat down. ' Now separate these elders 
one from the other.' Then, interrogating one of them, he 
said, ' sinful old man, thou art surely condemned to 
death, and the angel stands over thee to cut thee in two. 

Lxvi. 1] 205 

Under what tree didst thou find her ?' ' Under the 
terebinth ' (p'pN). And Daniel said to the people, ' Behold, 
this man shall die, for there is no such tree in the 

(9) He was accordingly taken away, and the second one 
brought. And he said to him, ' thou of the seed of 
Kainan, who art not of Judah. Thus did ye act in our 
land. Ye enticed beautiful maidens by your false testimony, 
so that we became a curse and a reproach, we were led 
captive and became a spoil ; behold, thou art destined to be 
slain, and no soul is to be left within thee. Tell me, before 
the people, under what tree didst thou find her ?' ' Under 
a trellis of the vine' (n^'pn). Then said Daniel, 'Behold, 
the angel stands over thee with a drawn sword in his hand 
to saw thy loins asunder, for there is no such tree in the 

(10) They went and found that it was the truth. Then 
Daniel appeared to the people in all his wisdom, and it 
was done to those judges just as they devised against their 
sister. From that day Daniel was exalted in the sight of 
the people of Judah, and they gave thanks and praises to 
the Lord God of their fathers, as did Shealtiel, the father 
of Susanna, and her mother, as well as all her relatives 
and acquaintances, and her husband Jehoiachin. 

LXVI. (1) Nebuchadnezzar was not very much changed 
in his being from other men ; but only in his appearance, 
in his mind, and in his language. He appeared to men like 
an ox as far as his navel (or stomach), and from his navel 
to his feet like a lion. He ate the herbs at first which 
other men eat, to show that he chewed his food like an ox, 
and became at last like a lion, in that he killed all the 
wicked. Many people went out to see him, but Daniel did 
not, because, during the time of his change, he was praying 
for him, so that the seven years became seven months. 
For forty days he roamed about among the wild beasts, and 
for the next forty days his heart became like that of any 
other man, and he wept on account of his sins. Again, for 
forty days he wandered about in caves, and for yet another 

206 [LXVI. 2 

forty days he roamed among the wild beasts until the seven 
months were completed. 

(2) When, however, the Lord restored him to his former 
position he no longer reigned alone, but appointed seven 
judges, one for each year until the expiration of the seven 
years. And during this time, while he was repenting for 
his sins, he neither ate meat nor bread, nor drank any wine, 
but his food consisted of herbs and seed, according to 
Daniel's counsel. When, after the seven years of his 
punishment, he sat once more on the throne of his kingdom, 
he wished to make Daniel an heir among his sons, but 
Daniel said, ' Far be it from me to leave the inheritance 
of my fathers for that of the uncircumcised.' 

(3) On the death of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, his son 
of the same name succeeded him. He built a temple to 
Bel in Babylon, and completed the city of Babylon. He 
surrounded it with the river, so that the enemy could not 
prevail against it. He increased the city and the temple of 
Bel tenfold, and added glory and honour, and in fifteen 
days (?) the building was complete. 

(4) The king then, having placed a huge stone upon a 
mountain, planted a garden upon it, which was raised to a 
great height so as to enable his wife to gaze upon Media, 
the land of her birth, for she longed to behold it. This 
was the king who besieged Tyre for three years and ten 
months. When Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nebuchad- 
nezzar the Great, died. Evil Merodach reigned in his stead. 

(5) Now, in the thirty-seventh year of the captivity of 
Jehoiachin, King of Judah, on the twenty-seventh day of the 
twelfth month. Evil Merodach, King of Babylon, in the first 
year of his reign, rescued Jehoiachin, King of Judah, from 
prison, and raised his throne above that of any other king 
in Babylon, and, changing his prison garments, he main- 
tained him as long as he lived. He did this because 
Nebuchadnezzar the Great did not keep his faith with him, 
for Evil Merodach was really his eldest son ; but he made 
Nebuchadnezzar the Younger king, because he had humbled 
the wicked. They slandered him to his father, who 

Lxvii. ij 207 

placed him (Evil Merodach) in prison together with 
Jehoiachin, where they remained together until the death 
of Nebuchadnezzar, his brother, after whom he reigned. 

(6) ' I fear my father Nebuchadnezzar,' he said, ' lest he 
rise from his grave, for just as he was changed back from an 
animal to a man, so in the same manner he may rise up 
from death to life.' But Jehoiachin advised him to take 
the corpse out of the grave, and, cutting it into 300 pieces, 
to give it to 300 vultures, and he said to him, ' Thy father 
will not rise up until these vultures have brought back the 
flesh of thy father, which they have eaten.' Evil Merodach 
had three sons, whose names were Eegosar ("iDTjn), Lebuzer- 
Dukh C^-n "iT-np), and Nabar ("i^^^, who was Belshazzar, 
with whom the Chaldean kingdom came to an end. 

[Here commences the book of Joseph ben Gorion, with 
the exception of the first two pages, which contain an 
enumeration of the families and ancient kings, which I 
have written above in its proper place in the Book of the 

LXVII. (1) When God had visited upon Babylon all 
that He spake to His servants Isaiah and Jeremiah, the 
prophets, on behalf of Jerusalem, He raised up against 
them two mighty kings : Darius, King of Media, and 
Cyrus, King of Persia. And Cyrus entered into close 
friendship with Darius by taking his daughter to wife, so 
that they jointly rebelled against Belshazzar, King of the 
Chaldeans. This was the commencement of many fierce 
battles. At the outset the Chaldeans were victorious ; but 
many fell on either side, and the Chaldeans fleeing, Cyrus 
and Darius pursued them until a distance of one day's 
journey from Babylon, and smote them and cut them to 
pieces. There Cyrus and Darius encamped with all their 
armies, and when the king Belshazzar saw them he sent 
out all the host of his mighty men — a thousand princes and 
the troops that were in the temple, a numerous and powerful 
band. At twilight all these marched out of Babylon, con- 
tinuing their march during the whole night. But at the 

208 [LXVII. 2 

break of morn they began to attack the camp of Darius 
and Cyrus, which at the onset became bewildered, and the 
camp of Media fled in confusion ; but Cyrus and his men 
braced themselves up to fight against the Chaldeans, and 
prevented them from following the Median camp. In the 
night, when the battle had ceased, the slain of the Medes 
and Persians were found to be very numerous. 

(2) On that same day, as the princes of Belshazzar 
saw that they had gained a victory, they came before 
King Belshazzar full of victory and strength. The king 
made a great feast for them, and many presents of silver 
and gold were given to them ; and the king rejoiced with 
his 1,000 princes, and sat down to eat and drink with 
them. They prolonged the banquet until night. Now, 
Belshazzar had drunk too much, and while he was in a 
state of intoxication he ordered the golden vessels which had 
been in the temple of our God at Jerusalem to be brought 
to him — viz., those holy vessels which Nebuchadnezzar had 
seized when he exiled the Jews from Jerusalem to Babylon. 
He then defiled the holy vessels by drinking wine out of 
them, together with his 1,000 princes, his wives, and his 

(3) But when our God beheld this profanation. He was 
angry and jealous (zealous) for His vessels, so He sent 
from His throne a scribe to write a severe rebuke for the 
king, and to acquaint him with the judgment which our 
God had decreed concerning his life and his kingdom. 
The scribe accordingly wrote upon the wall in red ink by 
the lamp of the king the following: 'He thought, He 
weighed. He separated.' The letters were written in 
Hebrew characters, but the writing was Aramaic. When 
the king saw the fingers writing — the other parts of the 
body he did not see, for the fingers were terrible and 
beautiful — he became bewildered and very much afraid, 
so that every limb of his body, his heart, and his very 
bones trembled. 

LXVIII. (1) Daniel was then brought before the king to 
read and interpret the writing, and he said to the king : 

LXVIII. 3] 209 

* Thou hast acted very foolishly, m that thou hast defiled 
the vessels of the temple of our God. Therefore our God, 
being zealous for His children and for His sanctuary, sent 
an angel to write these words. And these are the words 
which he has written, ' Shekel,' i.e., the enemy of the 
Lord, ' has been weighed in the balance and been found 
wanting. He will therefore rend the kingdom from His 
enemy, and will give it to Darius and Cyrus, who have 
given thee battle. Between them the kingdom shall be 

(2) And the princes of the king heard this explanation 
from Daniel and that he reproved the king, saying, ' Hearken 
to me, I pray thee. King Belshazzar, and mark and under- 
stand my words. Didst thou not know that the Lord God 
of the heavens made thy father great, and raised him over 
all the kingdoms of the earth ; that He caused him to rule, 
in His greatness, over the holy Land, over the kingdom of 
priests and the holy nation ; and that he (Nebuchadnezzar) 
treated them with great cruelty ; that he shed their blood 
as water, burnt the holy temple with fire, and sent the whole 
of God's inheritance into captivity to Babylon ? That then 
his heart waxed mighty and his spirit proud, so that he said, 
"My hand is exalted, and my power has stood by me"; 
that he did not remember that the God of the world, who 
exalteth and maketh humble, had delivered all these things 
into his hands ; nor did he think of this until the Lord 
humbled him by making him wander among the wild 
beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens ; and 
not until he believed that the Lord God of heaven is 
He who slayeth and bringeth to life was he restored 
again to his palace ? And thou, Belshazzar, hast received 
thy father's kingdom by the will of the God of heaven, and 
reignest over all the land in the same manner as thy father. 

(3) ' When thy two vassals, Darius and Cyrus, rebelled 
and made a conspiracy against thee, and went to battle 
against thy mighty army, thou didst send forth thy 
warriors to subdue them, and they returned to thee 
exceedingly elated with strength and glory ; but thou 


210 [LXVIII. 4 

didst not give thanks to thy Creator, who gave thee the 
very breath of thy hfe, but to thy idols of silver and gold, 
of iron and brass, of clay and earthenware, which cannot 
rescue nor save, which can do neither evil nor good. And 
thou didst burn bright the lamp for thy 1,000 warriors and 
princes. Then didst thou send for the holy vessels, which 
were sanctified to the God of heaven, who breathed into 
thee the breath of life, and in whose hand is thy spirit, to 
slay or to keep alive. And thou didst defile His vessels by 
drinking out of them, together with all thy servants, 
princes, wives, and concubines, and didst sing praises 
to thy idols. For this the Lord's anger was kindled 
against thee and thy people, since thou hast foolishly 
done this. He therefore sent His scribe to write down upon 
the wall of thy house thy end, and the end of thy kingdom. 
Behold the writing is written in Hebrew characters, but the 
language is Aramaic. The words are " Mene, Mene, Tekel, 
Upharsin," which means that God has " numbered " the 
years of thy kingdom, which have been found completed ; 
the seventy years (of the captivity) having come to an end. 
Thou hast been " weighed," and been found wanting. 
Therefore thy kingdom shall be " taken away" from thee, 
and given to the Medes and Persians.' 

(4) When the king, the princes and the dignitaries of the 
kingdom heard this interpretation from Daniel, they were 
all greatly afraid, every one of them, their heart beat 
violently, and they were alarmed and trembled, and the 
king, being seized with dreadful pains through Daniel's 
words, fell upon his bed, sad and troubled, and mourning 
bitterly, while the rest of the princes returned to their 
houses in fear. When they went out through the gate 
they were in their excitement crushed and trampled on, 
and the king remained alone with his messengers and his 
household, and, being in great excitement and bewildered, 
he fell into a deep sleep, and slumbered like one of the dead 
through his fright and trembling. (5) Now, there was in 
the bedroom of the king a doorkeeper, one of the old ser- 
vants of Nebuchadnezzar, who was much honoured and 

LXVIII. 7] 211 

respected. Meditating in his heart, he said, ' Did not 
Daniel interpret all Nebuchadnezzar's dreams? and did 
not all his words come true, so that nothing he prophesied 
failed to be realized ? Now he has told the king what is 
decreed concerning him, for the spirit of God is with him, 
and he does not lie. Why, therefore, should I not go, and, 
severing Belshazzar's head, run with it to Cyrus and 
Darius, the Kings of Media and Persia, and thereby find 
favour in their eyes ?' And as he thought, so he did. 
Kising hastily in the twilight, he drew the sword from 
beneath the king's pillows, and with it smote Belshazzar, 
severing his head. He wandered all through the night until 
daybreak, and then went to the two kings with the head of 
Belshazzar in his hand. 

(6) But when they saw it, both they and all the men 
trembled and gazed in fear at each other, as well as all the 
army. On asking the man for an explanation, he related 
all that Daniel had told Belshazzar, how he had defiled 
the holy vessels of the temple, and thus kindled the anger 
of the God of the heavens, who sent a messenger to write 
upon the wall in red ink opposite the candlestick. ' When I 
heard Daniel tell these things, I knew that it was all true 
and that nothing would fail to come to pass. On account 
of this I planned and hastened to perform this deed which 
now your eyes behold.' 

(7) When the two kings heard the words of the ser- 
vant they feared the wrath of the God of heaven, and 
consequently humbled, prostrated and bowed themselves 
before the Lord of all things, saying, ' We know that Thou 
alone art God over all the hosts of heaven and over all the 
kingdoms of the earth, who removest and establishest 
kings, and who doest whatever Thou desirest. Thou 
knowest that this Belshazzar, the wicked grandson of the 
wicked Nebuchadnezzar, acted wickedly, and Thou hast 
therefore visited him to destroy him in the wrath of 
Thy anger in that he defiled the vessels of Thy holy 
sanctuary. Thou didst hand him over to be slaughtered 
by this chamberlain that his head may be brought before 


212 [LXVIII. 8 

us. We now give thanks unto Thee, God of the heavens, 
for the wonders which Thou hast wrought. If Thou wilt 
dehver his land into our possession and the valiant, mighty 
men thereof, we shall wreak vengeance upon them to 
satisfy the wrath of Thine anger. Then Thou wilt help us 
to free Thy servants from their captivity, to build Thy 
holy temple in Jerusalem, and to gather together the out- 
casts of Thy people, that they may once again worship 
Thee alone.' Having said this, they made a feast and 
rejoiced for three days. 

(8) Then, marching into Babylon, they captured it, and, 
overthrowing the fortresses, slew the warriors at the edge 
of the sword, ripped up their women with child, slaughtered 
their old men in the streets, strangled their young men with 
ropes and dragged them with their horses along the streets, 
their virgins they trampled to death, and their young 
children they dashed against the rocks. (9) Thus God 
avenged the blood of His servants that was shed by the 
Babylonians and Chaldeans, and took vengeance for His 
city and His temple. These two kings overran all the 
streets with their mighty army, and, overthrowing all their 
palaces, burnt their most precious things, and, blowing 
upon their trumpets, raised a loud cry so that the earth 
was cleft asunder at their noise, and they said : ' Where 
are ye, ye mighty men of Babylon and ye valiant men, ye 
sinners of the whole earth. The battle is no longer yours.' 
They then set fire to everything that came before them until 
they rendered the whole of Babylon a waste land, like 
Sodom and Gomorrah, according to the word which God 
spake to His servants the prophets. (10) After this the 
two kings divided the whole kingdom of the Chaldeans by 
lot, so that Darius took for his portion Babylon, with all 
its inhabitants, and the great temple of the palace which 
Nebuchadnezzar had built ; and Darius sat upon the throne 
of Belshazzar. Thus, while the great Babylon, with all its 
inhabitants, together with the land of Media, fell to the 
lot of Darius, the land of the Chaldeans, Assyria and Persia 
fell to the lot of Cyrus. 

LXIX. 3] 213 

LXIX. (1) Now it came to pass, when Darius was firmly 
seated upon the throne of his kingdom in Babylon, that he 
ordered Daniel to be brought before him, and, placing 
for him a throne, he sat before Darius. Then said the 
king, ' Art thou Daniel ?' ' I am,' said he. ' Then 
give me counsel what to do, for the spirit of the God of 
heaven is with thee ; do not withhold it from me, for I am 
old now and wanting in strength. My active life wearies 
me, and continual wars make me faint ; and now that my 
old age has begun, I am no longer able to bear the burden 
of my people, to judge between man and man, to reward 
the righteous and punish the wicked, for the thing is too 
heavy for me.' 

(2) And Daniel replied : ' Let my lord the king appoint 
three officers, men of valour and truth, to take upon them- 
selves part of the responsibility, and let them judge betw^een 
man and man in order to relieve thee of the heaviness of 
the burden, and let the king rest in his palace. Then 
every matter that is too weighty for the judges shall be 
brought before the king, who shall decide. Thus the king 
and his throne shall be pure.' He did as he -was advised, 
for he appointed two princes of his host, with Daniel in 
authority over them, to judge the people, while he himself 
remained peaceably in his palace. 

(3) Darius issued a decree throughout all his kingdom, 
saying, * The God of the heavens hath given me all 
these kingdoms of the earth, and the burden is too great 
for me to bear, for my soul is weary through old age. I 
have therefore taken advice of Daniel, w^ho has given 
me true counsel, and I have hearkened unto him. I 
shall now rest in my palace so that the heaviness of the 
burden will be taken off my shoulders. Now give honour 
to the God of Daniel and believe in Him. Eise up early 
and seek Him, for He is the great God over all other gods. 
Let it be known to you that by the advice of Daniel have I 
done this. I have appointed over all my kingdom two 
princes of the host, to whose decisions all the people shall 
listen in all cases of trouble, so that the burden is made 

214 [LXX. 1 

lighter for me ; and Daniel have I appointed as overseer to 
these two princes, who are to obey him and to listen to all 
that he teaches them, and not to change his words, but 
to perform everything he commands them, for I have 
appointed him as a vicegerent, with the two princes of the 
army under him, and whoever violates this decree of the 
king shall forfeit his life.' All the people obeyed this 
decree, and the princes, governors, commanders and rulers 
of the provinces bestowed honour upon Daniel, for the holy 
Spirit was with him. 

LXX. (1) Soon after this, however, the princes of the 
army, as well as the other chiefs, governors and dignitaries 
of the kingdom envied Daniel, and, meeting in counsel, 
they sought for some pretext by which they might over- 
throw Daniel. So they resolved to make a decree and a 
covenant that every man, old or young, belonging to the 
rulers or the princes, who shall during the next thirty days 
entreat any god, or ask a request from any being, except 
from the king alone, shall be given as food to lions, nor shall 
he be rescued by the hand of the king, or redeemed by his 
great wealth to annul the decree. Daniel was ignorant of 
their machinations, for they cunningly kept their secret 
from him, saying, ' If we do not trap him in a religious 
matter we shall not be able to overthrow him.' But they 
did not know that, as Daniel was faithful to his God, so 
would his God prove faithful to him. 

(2) The men, having then written down what they had 
resolved to do, they each one of them signed it and sealed 
it with his seal, in order to give it greater authority. 
They thea waited upon the king with their writing, who 
took it and read it innocently without suspecting that it 
was a secret plot cunningly devised against Daniel. 
Therefore he confirmed the decree by sealing it with the 
king's seal, and giving it to his scribes to guard for the 
appointed time. (3) One day the men went to Daniel's 
house to spy, and, finding a girl playing about opposite 
the entrance of his house, they asked, ' Where is Daniel, 
and what is he doing ?' And she replied, ' Behold, he is in 

LXX. 5] 215 

the upper chamber of his house, praying near the window 
which looks towards the holy temple at Jerusalem, and 
uttering praises and words of thanksgiving to his God.' 
Believing her, they went to the upper chamber, and found 
him on his knees with his hands spread towards heaven, 
for Daniel supplicated to God three times during the day. 

(4) When these men came into Daniel's chamber he was 
not frightened, nor did he tremble at the noise of their 
voice, and he finished his prayer, when they all immediately 
seized him and brought him to the king. But when the 
king saw Daniel in the hands of the princes he trembled 
very greatly, and was astounded, for he then knew that it 
was against Daniel they had made and established such a 
decree. Then said the king to the princes, ' What have ye 
done to Daniel, and what have ye to do with him?* 
(5) And they replied, ' Have we not written down and 
sealed the decree in accordance with the law of Media 
and Persia, which cannot be changed or frustrated, that 
whoever prostrates himself to any being for the whole of 
this month other than to the king shall be consigned as 
food for the lions ? Behold, Daniel was found in his house 
praying to his God, and thus this decree of the King of 
Media and Persia was violated, which cannot be. Now, 
since Daniel has mocked us in trying to set our laws at 
naught, give him into our hands, and we shall cast him 
into the den of lions, that no other person may attempt 
such a thing again in opposition to the laws of Media 
and Persia.' And the king answered the princes, saying, 
♦ Ye have devised this plan against Daniel to attack him 
for your envy. Now, cease pursuing him, for he is a Jew, 
and his God is revered, glorious and mighty, who may 
visit you with His anger, and destroy you.' But the 
princes seized Daniel with their hands, ready to destroy 
him by casting him into the den of lions. The king, 
therefore, exerted all his strength to rescue him, but 
not one of them helped the king to save Daniel, for they 
were all eager for his downfall, and refused, therefore, to 
release him. But the king would not listen to the princes, 

216 [LXX. 6 

and they strove with each other, the princes and the king, 
until sunset. 

(6) When, however, they saw that the king was with 
him, they said with one accord, ' king, know and mark 
well, if thou wilt not deliver him into our hands, we shall 
know that thou annullest the laws of Media and Persia.' 
As soon as the king saw that they were all of them bent on 
conspiring against him on account of Daniel, he let him 
go, delivering him into their power, and saying to them, 
' Tell me, if God delivers him from the mouth of the lions, 
how will you hide your reproach and your shame, for ye 
shall surely be cast to the lions as food.' And they all 
replied, * So it shall be.' The king, having striven with 
the princes until it was late, said to Daniel, ' Behold, the 
princes have determined to cast thee into the den of lions, 
but the Lord God of the heavens, who hath given thee 
His holy Spirit, shall close their mouths and prevent 
them injuring thee ; but I am innocent before thy God, for 
I sought to rescue thee, but could not.' Then, drawing 
Daniel forth, they cast him into the den in which ten lions 
were enclosed. Their daily fare consisted of ten sheep and 
ten human bodies. But they starved them, depriving them 
of their food, giving them nothing to eat, so that they 
should hasten to devour Daniel. When Daniel had, how- 
ever, descended to the den of lions they showed him a kind 
face, licked him, wagged their tails, and were as rejoiced 
to meet him as dogs are to see their master arrive home 
from the field. The princes rolled a great stone over the 
mouth of the pit, which the king sealed with his ring as 
well as with that of the princes, and they each went their 

(7) Daniel, in the meantime, praised the name of his 
God all the night until the next morning with the voice of 
song and thanksgiving, while the lions crouched round 
about him, eager to hearken unto his song. But the king 
went to his house grieved and bitterly sad, eating no 
food, and drinking neither wine nor water. He forbad the 
musical instruments to be played before him, and did not 

LXX. 9] 217 

remove his garments, for he was grieved at heart for 
Daniel ; his sleep also left him, for he was saddened at the 
princes' plot against Daniel. Then, turning over on his 
side and sighing, he said, ' Would that it were morning, to 
see what has become of Daniel.' 

(8) On that same day, and at the same time as Daniel 
was cast into the den, behold the prophet Habakkuk, in the 
land of Judah, returned that evening from harvesting, and 
prepared a large dish to feed the reapers. While he was 
carrying his burden in his hand to supply the reapers 
with food, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ' Go 
thou with this food to My servant Daniel, in the land of the 
Chaldeans, to the den of lions, where he is cast.' 'But, 
Lord God, who will lead me there,' said he, ' at this time, 
since the distance is so great for me ?' And forthwith an 
angel of God lifted him by the lock of his hair, together 
with his food, and placed him in the midst of Daniel's den, 
where he put down the food. The angel then brought him 
forth thence, and restored him to his native place, whence 
he was taken before the reapers had had their meal. And 
Daniel uttered thanksgiving and praises to his God, in 
whose salvation he trusted, for whoever supplicates to his 
God communes with Him as well as one who studies His 
law, and he need not despair of His kindness. 

(9) On the following morning at daybreak the king arose 
and hastily went to the den, and when he heard Daniel's 
voice singing and the beauty of his praises, he was not 
able to speak to him, for his voice was stifled through 
his sobbing. But, strengthening himself, he called out, 
* Daniel, Daniel, has God withheld thee from the mouth of 
the lions, and art thou not torn to pieces ?' And Daniel 
replied, ' Indeed, God hath withheld me from the mouth of 
the lions, and hath closed their mouths, and prevented 
them from injuring me. They, on the contrary, rejoiced 
to meet me, just as my own household would rejoice, for 
thus my God, in whom I trust, has commanded, and 
yesterday food was even given to me through Habakkuk, 
through the spirit of my God ; but, my lord the king, I have 

218 [Lxx. 10 

not sinned against thee, nor will any iniquity be found 
in me.' 

(10) The king then sending for the princes, Daniel's 
enemies, they came to him as he was standing by the den. 
' Know,' said he, ' and behold the seals of your rings ; are 
they as ye sealed them, and has there been any mis- 
chief ?' And examining the seals, they said, ' They are 
untouched and just as we have sealed them.' Then, com- 
manding the stone to be rolled away from the mouth of the 
pit, Daniel they brought forth, sound and perfect, without 
any blemish or hurt. The bystanders, being struck with 
wonder at the miracles of the God of Daniel, with a loud 
voice shouted, ' The God of Daniel is greater than all other 
gods.' The king then ordered his servants to lay hold of 
those princes, Daniel's enemies, together with their wives 
and children, and to cast them into the den of lions, and 
before they reached the floor of the den, the lions, who had 
not eaten any food since yesterday, roared at them, and, 
tearing them, crushed their bones and ground them to 
dust. They then continued roaring from their den so 
that the noise could be heard far off, and all the people 
trembled, and said, ' The lions have escaped from their 

LXXI. (1) The king then returned to his palace with 
Daniel, and the Lord showered upon Daniel honour and 
greatness, and he found favour and kindness in the eyes of 
the king. A command was then issued in the kingdom, 
saying : ' In all the land there is no god like the God of 
Daniel who performs miracles and wonders. May his God 
be with all the people of His inheritance, and cause them 
to prosper ; and let the great temple of God be built in Judah, 
and I shall give silver and gold of my treasures for the 
building until it is completed.' 

(2) He then issued orders to all the cities in the land of 
his rule, by means of runners and horsemen, to permit the 
Jews to go up to Jerusalem to build the temple of God. 
This happened in the first year of Cyrus's reign over the 
Chaldeans. Letters of the king were also sent to all the 

LXXIL 1] 219 

princes on the other side of the river and to the governors, 
to be in readiness to assist the Jews by attending to all 
their wants in the matter of the building, such as the 
supply of wood, stones, wheat, oil, and wine, until the 
building was completed, and rams and lambs for their 

(3) The Jews then rose, all whose hearts were willing, to 
go up to the house of God. They numbered about four 
myriads, with Ezra the priest and scribe at their head, as 
well as Eliakim the priest, Jeshu'a, Mordecai, and the 
rest of the chiefs of the fathers belonging to Judah and 
Benjamin; and, journeying, they came to the other side 
of the river, and arrived at Jerusalem, where they com- 
menced to lay the foundation of the house of God. 
When this was finished, the work prospered. There then 
arose certain wicked men, enemies of the Jews, from 
the remnant of the nations, e.g., Sanballat the Horonite, 
Tobiya the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, all of 
whom wrote evil against the Jews. They sent a letter 
to the Kings of Media and Persia, saying, * Be it known to 
you that if ye build the city of Jerusalem it will be to you 
a snare, a great evil, and there will arise a great conspiracy 
against you ; for in days of yore the Jews who dealt therein 
were strong and very hard, and destroyed the whole 
country. It was for this reason that Nebuchadnezzar, 
their enemy, exiled them to Babylon. Then the kings 
had rest, and each dwelt peacefully in his own place. 
Therefore we send to inform you of it, as we are faithful, 
for we have eaten at the table of the king, and far be it 
from us to allow the downfall of the kingdom.' As soon 
as the letter reached the King of Persia, the work was dis- 
continued until the second year of the reign of Darius. 

LXXII. (1) Now, when Darius was seated on the throne 
of his kingdom, he sent for Daniel, the servant of God, to 
test his wisdom and to obtain his counsel. Having come 
before him, he tried him and proved him, and found him 
sevenfold wiser than report had told of him. He was 
therefore very pleased with him, and loved him, and 

220 [LXXII. 2 

appointed him to be his counsellor, as Darius had done 
before him. 

(2) One day Darius held a feast in honour of Bel, the 
god of Babylon, and the king accordingly prepared an 
offering to be brought before Bel, the god of Babylon. 
The daily order of the offering consisted of 1 bullock, 
10 rams, 10 sheep, 100 doves, 70 loaves of bread, and 
10 barrels of wine, for the table of the god. On the day 
in question they arranged the table before Bel, and the 
king said to Daniel, ' Would that thou didst believe in the 
glory of our god Bel, who consumes what is laid upon 
this table.' 

(3) And Daniel replied, ' Let not the heart of the king 
be deceived and be led astray, for it is vanity. There is 
no breath in it, but it is simply the work of the craftsman. 
How can it therefore eat or drink anything? It is 
the priests of Bel who eat the contents of this table, as 
well as the meal-offering and burnt-offering. Now% if thou 
wilt hearken unto me, and deliver these priests into my 
hand, I will show thee the deceit they practise upon thee 
and thy people, which causes you to prostrate yourselves 
to vanity and emptiness.' ' Let it be as thou hast spoken,' 
said the king. Daniel then commanded the porters of Bel 
to lock the temple and all its gates, except the one which 
the king and Daniel entered. 

(4) Then said the king, * Bring me some ashes.' When 
they were brought he scattered them upon the floor of the 
house, and the priests were kept in ignorance of Daniel's 
advice. As soon as they had done this, the king and Daniel 
went out with their young men by the same gate, and, 
locking the door, the king sealed it with his own seal and 
with that of Daniel, and then both of them went back to 
the palace, and retired for the night. 

(5) On the following morning the king sent for Daniel, 
to let him see and know what Bel had done. Coming to 
the gate of the temple, they found the seals just as they 
had been left ; and the king said, ' Has there been any 
tampering with these seals ?' And Daniel said * No,' and 

LXXIII. 2] 221 

commanded the seals to be removed. They then opened 
the gate, and saw that the contents of the table which they 
had arranged, from the bread even to the meat and wine, 
had all been consumed. 

(6) As soon as the king saw this, he fell prostrate before 
Bel, and exclaimed, ' Bel, great is thy name in the world, 
and who is like unto thee in might among all the other 
gods ?' But Daniel answered, ' Let not the king say that, 
for Bel is but clay, earthenware, and brass, and cannot eat 
or drink. Look but upon the ashes which we have spread 
on the floor, and round about the temple and the table, and 
see whose footprints are these, for they are the traces of the 
consumers of Bel's table.' The king looked, and beheld 
the footprints of men, women, and children ; (7) and 
sending forthwith for these seventy priests and ministers 
of Bel, he swore to them, saying, ' If ye will not tell me 
the truth, ye shall surely die.' They then showed him 
the secret entrances through which they came in and 
went out in the night, to eat the contents of the table. 
[Here one leaf of the MS. is missing.] 

LXXIII. (1) The dragon felt the smell of the ashes and 
of the sacrifice, and he rejoiced to go out and see the offer- 
ing, and it opened its mouth, according to custom, and they 
cast it therein. After swallowing it, it raised itself on high, 
and turned to enter the cave again, when the princes said to 
the king, ' Is Daniel also able to destroy this god, which is 
a living god, just as he destroyed Bel and his priests and 
his altar, thus putting an end to his worship ? Why does 
he not strive with this god, for, if he does, then we shall be 
avenged for the destruction of Bel and his temple. 

(2) Then said the king to Daniel, ' Hearken to me, pray, 
and give ear to what I say. Canst thou lift up thy thoughts 
also against this great and mighty serpent god, and subdue 
him as thou didst Bel, in which there was no life ? This, 
however, is mighty and strong, and who would dare rise 
up against it to do it evil ? But Daniel replied, ' Let not 
the king err also in this, for it is but a beast, and can be 
subdued by the hand of man. It hath no spirit, and now, 

222 [LXXiii. 3 

if my lord the king will permit me to go against this 
dragon, I shall slay it without either sword or stick or 
any warlike instrument, for it is but a reptile that crawls 
upon the earth, and the Lord set the fear of man in every 
beast, insect, and reptile, for in the image of God did He 
make man. I shall therefore destroy it just as I destroyed 
one of the graven images, but do not give power unto thy 
princes to do me evil.' ' Go thou and do what thou canst,' 
replied the king. The princes were, however, greatly re- 
joiced when the king told Daniel to strive with the dragon, 
for they said, ' Now will Daniel surely perish, for it is 
impossible for him to make a stand against the dragon.' 

(3) Daniel then went from the king, and making iron 
instruments like wool combs, he joined them together 
back to back, with the points outward, forming a circle 
of hard and sharp points. This he rolled in all manner 
of poisonous fat and grease and other fatty substances, 
and beneath it he placed pitch and brimstone, until the 
points of the brass and the other piercing metals were 
concealed. Then, making it in the shape of an oblation, 
Daniel cast it into the dragon's mouth. The dragon 
hastily and greedily swallowed it, and seemed to enjoy it. 
Eut when it entered its mouth, and passed on to the 
entrails of its belly, the fat melted from off the iron 
prongs, so the sharp spikes pierced its entrails, and gave 
it such agony that it died on the morrow. 

(4) It came to pass, three days after its death, that the 
Chaldeans and Babylonians came, as was their daily 
custom, to propitiate the dragon with an oblation, but it 
was not visible ; only a horrible stench issued from the 
•cave. When they searched the cave they found that their 
god was slain, swollen up, and decaying. They became very 
grieved and full of wrath against Daniel, and they said, 
* Behold what is this Daniel has done to the two gods ! for 
he has destroyed Bel and smitten the dragon. Now if 
the king deliver him into ©ur hands, he shall surely be 
slain ; and if not, it must be made known to the king that 
he also shall surely not live.' When it reached the ears 

LXXIV. 2] 223 

of the king that the people had made a conspiracy against 
him, a command was issued to smite the leaders and 
princes, as well as those that rose up against Daniel, 
with the edge of the sword. 

LXXIV. (1) Daniel having now grown old in years, came 
one day to the king, and prostrating himself before him, 
said, ' my lord the king, behold old age has crept upon 
me, and I have now no more strength to stand and go 
to and fro. Behold, the lawless men of thy people have 
humbled me through their enmity, and have cast me 
twice into the den of lions, but God, in whom I put my 
trust, has delivered me. They meditated to take my soul, 
to deprive me of my life, through their zeal on behalf of 
their gods, but my God withheld me from their destruc- 
tion. My three friends also they cast into the fiery furnace 
to be burnt, and yet after all this we have not forsaken our 
God. Now, my lord the king, I pray thee allow me to go back 
to my native city and to my house, to worship the God of 
my fathers for the remainder of my days, for I am old and 
have no longer the power to restrain (check) the multitude 
of thy host.' And the king answered Daniel, saying, ' How 
can I listen to thy request to send thee away, seeing thou 
art a man of the God of heaven ? If thou leavest me and 
departest from my side, how can my kingdom remain in its 
integrity ? I am indeed aware that thou art an old man, 
and that thou hast no longer that strength for active life 
which the rulers of the kingdom ought to have ; therefore, 
if thou wilt give me from among thy people a man of 
wisdom and understanding, and withal filled with the spirit 
of thy God as thou art, to remain with me in thy stead, 
then will I send thee away in peace to rest in thine own 
house, although my soul knoweth there is none esteemed 
thy equal among the sons of thy people.' 

(2) Daniel then went forth from the presence of the king 
to the assembly of the exiles, and, finding there Zerubbabel, 
the son of Shealtiel, the son of Jechoniah, King of Judah, 
he selected him from among the people, and taking him by 
the hand, led him to the king, and said, ' Behold before 

224 [LXXIV. 3 

thee the man who is to take my place. He is esteemed my 
equal, and is descended from Judah and from the chiefs of 
the royal seed. He is withal a man of valour, filled with 
the spirit of God, with knowledge and wisdom as myself, 
falling short of nothing that is in me, and he wdll be, 
as I have been, a faithful counsellor to thee. And now, do 
thou give me permission to depart for my native place for 
the short time I have to live.' The king, being confident 
of the truth of everything Daniel told him, gave him 
permission to depart. Daniel then made his obeisance, and 
the king embraced and kissed him, and having ordered 
many gifts to be presented to him, he sent him away. 

(3) Thus did Zerubbabel take the place of Daniel, who 
gave all that the king presented him with to the suffering 
exiles, and then left for Shushan, his native place, in the 
land of Elam. There he worshipped the Lord among his 
brother exiles until the day of his death. 

(4) Now, Zerubbabel was a man of valour, young and 
prosperous, understanding and wise, filled with the spirit 
of wisdom, for Daniel had put his hand upon him. He 
found favour in the eyes of the king, who loved him 
and appointed him chief of all the princes, and overseer of 
the two captains of the host and guardians of the king. 

(5) One day, according to custom, all the princes assem- 
bled before the king, and the king said to them, ' Have ye 
seen in the whole of this land a man as wise and as full 
of understanding, in whom is the spirit of Daniel, as this 
man Zerubbabel ?' And they answered, ' The king hath 
spoken the truth.' 

(6) Now, about the time of noon, after they had all eaten, 
the king, as usual, lay upon his bed and slept. The two 
princes and guardians of the king then arose, as was 
customary, and Zerubbabel with them, and stood round 
the king's bedside until he awoke. On this occasion the 
king slept heavily, for he was drunk with wine ; and the 
three young men, being weary of standing, proposed to test 
each other's wisdom by means of riddles, each one accord- 
ing to his wit, and they said, ' Let us write them down in a 

Lxxiv. 8] 225 

book, and place the book under the head of the king until 
he awake from his sleep/ when he would see the book, and 
understand its meaning. 

(7) ' Then it shall be that the man whose words appear 
wiser than his two colleagues,' and whose riddles are 
superior to those of his brethren, should be made vice- 
gerent, and should also sit on the royal throne and in the 
royal chariot; that he should have free access to the 
presence of the king ; that the vessels of his table should 
be of silver, and the reins of his horse of gold. That the 
crown of the vicegerent be placed upon his head ; that he 
receive the portion of the vicegerent from the hand of the 
king ; that every request be granted him, and that he be a 
friend of the king.' To this they all agreed, and, making 
a covenant in accordance therewith, they established it 
according to the laws of Media and Persia, which can 
never be altered. 

(8) Then, bringing the pen and the scroll, they cast 
lots as to who should be the first to inscribe. The first 
wrote, ' On the earth there is no one so powerful as a 
king.' The second wrote, 'Wine is the strongest thing 
on earth.' x\nd Zerubbabel, who was the third, wrote, 
* There is nothing on the earth so powerful as woman.' 
When they had finished WTiting their words of wisdom, 
they placed the scroll under the king's pillow, but the king 
was awake, for though his eyes were closed yet he heard 
their whisperings ; and when they placed the scroll under 
his pillow the king arose as if he had just woke from his 
sleep, and, rubbing his eyes with his two hands, he looked 
under his pillow, and saw the scroll which the three young 
men had written. Then opening it, he read it, and was 
perplexed about it, until all the princes, pashas, chiefs, 
governors, and heads of the provinces came to him. Then 
calling the three young men, he said, ' Bring me each one 
of you his writing, and let me listen to the interpretation 
of your riddles; then will I fulfil for the wisest of you 
three everything that is stated in the scroll to honour and 

.exalt him.' 


226 [Lxxiv. 9 

(9) The first one then approached to read what he had 
written, and said, ' Hearken, king and princes, to my 
words. There is nobody on earth so powerful as a king.' 
The second, drawing near (the king), said, * There is 
nothing on earth so powerful as wine.' And the third, 
viz., Zerubbabel, exclaimed, ' There is nothing on earth so 
powerful as woman.' At this the king and the princes 
said, ' We have hearkened to your hidden sayings ; now tell 
us the explanation, and we shall listen.' 

LXXV. (1) And the first answered and said, ' my lord 
the king, princes and mighty men, do ye not know the 
power of the king and the strength of his dominion over all 
the earth, over the sea, the isles, and over all languages ? 
to slay or to keep alive ? If he commands an army to 
march forth, they march forth armed ; they turn not their 
heads, though they may stand face to face with death. 
If he command them to overthrow cities, they overthrow 
them ; if to hew down mountains, or to pull down walls, 
they obey. If he command them to plough for him, they 
plough ; they sow and reap his produce, for they fear the 
wrath of the king, who is mighty and lord over all, and no 
one dares frustrate his word ; therefore believe ye my words 
that there is no one on earth so powerful as a king.' All 
the bystanders were astonished at his speech. 

(2) The second now replied, saying, ' Though ye know 
the power of a king and the strength of his might, for 
he has dominion and rules over the land ; yet wine is 
stronger than a king. It is true he has great power, but as 
soon as he drinks freely of wine, it overpowers him and 
inclines his heart to other things, he sings, plays and 
dances, for his heart is turned by the wine, so that he 
repulses his kin, approaches strangers, slays his friends, 
and confers honour upon strangers, and respects neither 
his father nor mother. (3) Do ye not know that such is 
the power of wine, when a man is drunk he cannot learn, 
but is rather prone to singing ; he whispers to his 
neighbour and reveals secrets, and hidden things drop out 
of his mouth. Men full of sorrow the wine makes glad, 

Lxxv. 5] 227 

and even if mourners and those whose hearts are grieved 
drink thereof, they rejoice and are merry. The drmiken 
one draws his sword against his neighbom-, and he gets 
fierce, and bashful men it makes bold. But when the 
wine has disappeared from them, they have forgotten all, 
and say, " We have not done this thing." Is thus wine 
not stronger than a king, as it rules over him ; it makes 
man walk crookedly, he cannot see straight, and he con- 
tinues babbling things which he has not learned. Do ye 
not think that wine is therefore more powerful than a king, 
for such it does ?' Thereat the men were greatly surprised. 
(4) After that the king summoned Zerubbabel, and said, 
* Tell me, I pray thee, thy riddle and its interpretation, as 
thy friends have done.' And he answered and said, ' Give 
ear and hearken unto me, king and princes, governors 
and rulers, and all ye who stand here. Indeed, the 
king is stronger and greater than all; it is true that 
wine weakens the king through its strength, as my friends 
have said. Thus the power of both the king and wine 
cannot be denied ; but woman is yet more powerful than 
either king or wine or any other strong drink. For why 
should she not be more powerful than the king ? Did she 
not give birth to him, suckle him, sustain him, rear him, 
clothe him, wash him, and sometimes chastise him ? Did 
she not rule over him as a mother does the child of her 
womb ? When she was angry with him, did he not fear her 
rebuke? Did she not sometimes beat him and at other 
times censure him ? If she lifted the rod to him, did he 
not run away from her in fear of her ? Moreover, when 
he grows up to be a young man, he cannot forget his 
instructress, nor will rebel against her call. He always 
respects her as a son honours her who conceived him. 

(5) ' Then looking about him, he beholds a woman fair to 
look upon, and desires her beauty to sport with. His 
heart inclines towards her, and he will not change his 
love for her for all the riches. It is then that he leaves 
his father and mother, forsaking them for her love and 
her beauty, and many are they that have been led astray 


228 [LXXV. 6 

through the love of woman ; many are they that have 
acted fooHshly, and become mad for her sake ; and many 
that have met their death for the sake of woman, and have 
fallen for her pride down into hell. Wise men also have 
been caught in her net, and much hatred has the frivolous 
one caused among brothers. Do ye not know and under- 
stand that if a man sees a comely woman, and he carries 
in his hands goodly things, will not his eyes gaze upon 
her, for his heart inclines towards her? If she answers 
him when he speaks to her on account of her beauty, will 
he not leave everything that he keeps in his hands to speak 
to her ? for his heart is drawn near to her. 

(6) ' Who is there that will not believe this, and confess 
the truth of this power of woman ? Tell me, for whom do 
ye steal, for whom do ye rob, and for whom do ye gird 
yourselves — is it not for woman? Is it not for her that 
ye buy all the precious ornaments ? is not the myrrh and 
the aloe for her ? are not all the spices, perfumed oils, and 
frankincense for her ? If a man break into a house, if 
he keeps the high roads, goes on the sea, on dry land, on 
the mountains ; if he fight, commit murder, rob, plunder, 
and shed blood, to whom will he bring his spoil, if not to 
woman? Have I not seen the concubine of the King 
Apumasia (^<^^^*D1D^5), the daughter of Abyaush (CMN^n.s) of 
Makeden, take the crown of honour from off the king's head 
and place it on her own head, while he was seated on the 
throne beside her, and the king was pleased wdth her ? 
But when she became angry, did not the king then hasten 
to appease her, and to reconcile her, and remove her 
anger ? 

(7) ' Who, then, is there that will not believe that 
woman's power is stronger than everything ? She subdued 
Samson, enticed David, and inclined the heart of Solomon 
towards her. Many are her captives, and innumerable are 
those that are slain through her, and their number increases. 
And even if there be one man who rules the whole world, 
and before whose wrath all people tremble and shake, 
since he would be supreme, and although man is appointed 

Lxxvi. 1] 229 

to be the jDrmce, ruler, and king over her, and to her is 
given the desire of him, yet not even he would be able to 
conquer her and to rule over her. Even Adam, the father 
of all mankind, was induced by his wife to transgress the 
word of God, by which she destined him and his offspring 
to death. Also, in the days of Noah, the heavenly angels 
were led astray and took to them women. Who does not 
believe that this is known from the very beginning of the 
world, and will last to the end unaltered? This is the 
truth that I utter. 

(8) ' Now, finally, let it be known to the king and to all 
my hearers that all is vanity here — the king who rules the 
earth, the wine that rules the king, and woman with her 
iniquity, who rules the three ; but truth reigns supreme 
in heaven and on earth ; in the seas and in the depths truth 
prevails before God and man ; for where truth dwells 
there wickedness cannot abide, for the heavens and the 
earth are founded upon truth, and the Lord our God is 
true for ever.' 

(9) After this all the people assembled there before the 
king exclaimed, 'It is true.' Then said the king to 
Zerubbabel, ' Come near to me.' When he approached, the 
king kissed him and embraced him in the presence of all the 
people, and said, ' Blessed be the Lord God of Zerubbabel, 
who hath given him the spirit of truth, for there is nothing 
like God's truth ; everything else is vanity.' And the princes 
also exclaimed, ' Indeed, truth is greater than all things ; 
nor can one stand up against it since it dwells in the 
heaven and in the earth, and upon it is everything based. 
True is the God of Zerubbabel, who hath given him the 
spirit of truth to praise and to glorify truth before God and 

LXXVI. (1) The king then commanded all the honours 
written in the scroll to be carried out for Zerubbabel, for 
he had found great favour in the eyes of the king and the 
two princes, his colleagues. And the king further said to 
Zerubbabel, ' Ask, in addition to what is written in the 
scroll, whatever thy soul desires and I will grant it, even 

230 [LXXVI. 2 

to half the kmgdom.' And Zerubbabel answered and said, 
' Eemember, my lord the king, the vow which thou and 
King Cyrus made to the God of heaven, viz., to build His 
house, and to restore His holy vessels, and to allow His 
captive people to worship Him in the temple that is called 
by His name, that they may pray to the great God of 
heaven for the welfare of thy reign, for thou must not 
delay the vow which thou madest to the heavenly God.' 

(2) The king thereupon commanded the scribes to hasten 
and write down Zerubbabel' s request, to rebuild the ruins 
of Jerusalem. He then sent a message to Cyrus, King 
of Persia, to join hands with him in this work, and thus 
to fulfil their vow by establishing the house of God in 
Jerusalem. And Cyrus issued a proclamation throughout 
his kingdom, saying, ' Every one of God's people whose 
heart prompts him to go up to Jerusalem to lay the founda- 
tion of the temple and to build it, let him go, and I shall 
give everyone the pay of his labour from my treasures until 
the building is completed.' 

(3) The king's scribes thereupon wrote down this pro- 
clamation on behalf of Darius, King of Media, and Cyrus, 
King of Persia, to the princes, governors, and rulers on the 
other side of the river, and to the Arameans, Tyrians, 
Samaritans, and to Asaph, governor of the garden of 
Lebanon, ' Be it known to you that it is our pleasure to 
send back to God's holy city the captives of His people, 
whom Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, sent into exile ; 
to restore the vessels of the great and holy temple which 
is called by the name of the God of heaven ; to build His 
altar, and to sacrifice thereon every day ; to build the 
temple, and the Holy of Holies; to establish the palace 
according to its old form ; and to restore the walls of 
Jerusalem. (4) When this edict reaches you, exert your- 
selves to assist them by supplying all their wants in silver 
and gold, brass, wood, and stones for the builders and 
hewers until the building is finished, and to give them 
whatever they ask for, wheat, barley, oil, or wine, and 
whatever they want for the buildings. For re-establishing 

LXXVII. 1] 281 

the sacrifices upon the altar ye shall give them oxen, calves, 
rams, sheep, he-goats, doves, flom% oil, salt, to enable them 
to re-establish the altar, and to finish the whole work.' 

(5) The Edomites were also commanded by these two 
kings to contribute their share in the service of the house 
of the Lord, because they had helped the Chaldeans to 
overthrow it ; they were to give a yearly tribute of five 
talents of gold for strengthening the breach of the house, 
to rebuild the temple and the holy city. The Sidonians, 
Tyrians, and Edomites, as well as the servants of the king 
in the Lebanon, under the command of Asaph, keeper of 
the garden, were ordered to hew the wood from the Lebanon, 
and to drag it to the sea from the Lebanon and thence 
to the Sea of Joppa, to complete the work of the house of 
God. No man was to hinder them until everything was 
completed. Having written down all these details as the 
two kings commanded, the scribes sealed it, and handed it 
over to Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, and to Nehemiah, 
the son of Hachaliah. 

LXXVIL (1) About this time Darius, King of Media, 
was taken very ill, and, being about to die, he called Cyrus, 
King of Persia, his son-in-law, his daughter's husband, and 
made him king in his stead, so that the kingdoms of Media 
and Persia were united into one ; and wdien Darius the 
Mede was gathered to his people, Cyrus reigned over Media 
and Persia and the remainder of the country. He then 
issued a proclamation in all his kingdom, saying, 'Who- 
ever of you among the people of the Lord God of heaven 
is willing to go up to Jerusalem to the footstool of the great 
and mighty God, to build His house and His temple W'hich 
the wicked Nebuchadnezzar, who was more wicked than all 
his predecessors, overthrew, let him go up and assist in the 
building, and may His God be with everyone whose heart 
prompts him to do so. And I, Cyrus, servant of the living 
God, who set me upon this throne, shall provide from my 
riches and my treasury all the wants of the house of this 
mighty God who made me King of Media and Persia, and 
who assisted me to destroy the kingdom of the Chaldeans.' 

232 [Lxxvii. 2 

(2) Thus all the elders of the captivity, Ezra the scribe, 
Nehemiah, the son of Hachaliah, with the other chiefs of 
the captivity and the priests, went up to Jerusalem and 
built the temple of God and His altar, and arranged the 
wood and placed the flesh of sacrifice upon the altar. 
(3) Then they lifted up their voices and wept, while Ezra 
and Nehemiah, with the other chiefs of the captivity, 
prayed to God, and said : ' Lord of the whole universe, 
Thou hast put it into the heart of the King of Persia 
to do honour to Thy house, and to send Thy servants 
and priests to make sacrifices to Thee and to offer Thy 
burnt-offerings as Thy servants, our pious forefathers, did 
before Thee. Behold we, also Thy servants, have come to 
this place, and have rebuilt Thy altar after the same 
pattern, and we offer sacrifices to Thee, and arrange the 
wood beneath the burnt-offering. But how can it be 
pleasing to Thee, God, seeing that we offer strange fire, 
for the holy fire is no more, since it has been hidden by 
Jeremiah the prophet, Thy servant, and the other chiefs 
of the captivity whom Nebuchadnezzar sent into exile. 
What shall we do, God of heaven? Give us counsel and 
help, for to Thee belongs dominion, to help us and to 
strengthen our hands.' 

(4) Now, it happened while they were praying to the 
Lord in this wise, a very old man about 100 years of age, 
belonging to those priests who were exiled in the days of 
Nebuchadnezzar, was heard calling. Being rather deaf 
through old age, he summoned his six sons before him, and 
said, ' my sons, if I have found favour in your eyes, carry 
me near the altar and place me opposite it that I may 
inhale the sweet-smelling frankincense of the altar, for I 
have not been deemed worthy of that pleasure for many 
years now. Let your kindness be extended to me that ye 
may hearken to me this once, that I may be enabled to 
smell it once more before I die. Ye shall be rewarded hy 
the holy God, for I have been a great burden to you.' 

(5) His sons forthwith carried him into the midst of the 
assembled priests opposite the altar. When he heard the 

LXXVII. 9] 233 

noise of the multitude and the priests crying to God for the 
holy fire, the old man said to his sons, ' What ails the 
people that they cry?' And they replied, 'The priests 
are seeking the holy fire which is no longer to be found, as 
it has been hidden from them.' ' Carry me, then, near the 
priests and the heads of the fathers, and I shall tell them 
where it is, and where Jeremiah the prophet and the other 
priests who went into exile had concealed it.' (6) His sons 
carried him in the midst of the chiefs of the fathers, who 
asked him about it, and he told them where it was. Then, 
carrying the old man, and crossing the Brook of Kedron 
and the Valley of Hinnom, they ascended Mount Olives ; and 
during their descent, when they faced the valley in the 
plain, the old man showed them a large stone sunk in the 
earth. Digging up the dust round about the stone, they 
rolled the stone away, and removing the lime beneath it, 
they opened the pit. 

(7) Then said he to the young priests, ' Descend thither 
and take the fire, for there it was placed.' He repeated 
his command, whereupon they descended, and found there 
at the bottom of the pit something like the lees of oil, and 
like mud and honey. When they related this to Ezra and 
the priests, they replied, ' Bring up whatever ye find, and 
no stranger touch you until ye come to the altar. Then 
place what ye have carried away upon the altar, upon the 
burnt -offering, and upon the wood.' They went down and 
did as they were commanded ; (8) and as soon as they 
did this a great fire suddenly burnt upon the altar, and 
grew into such huge flames that the priests and the people 
fled from before it, for they could not endure it. It licked 
the burnt-offering, and, travelling round the temple, cleansed 
it, after which it got considerably smaller, so that it re- 
mained only on the altar, as usual. From that day thence- 
forward a continual fire burnt upon the altar, as they 
placed the wood regularly upon it until the second cap- 

(9) But the ark was not there, because Jeremiah took the 
ark with all the curtains which Moses, the servant of God, 

234 [Lxxvii. 10 

made in the wilderness, and he carried them up to Mount 
Nebo and placed them in a cave. The priests of that 
time pursued him to find out the place of the ark, and of 
the tablets, of the curtains of the tabernacle, and of the tent 
of the congregation. When Jeremiah looked behind him 
and saw the priests, he became angry with them, and swore 
to them ' you shall never discover the place you desired to 
know until I and Elijah appear. Then we shall restore the 
tabernacle and the tent of the congregation to its original 
place, as well as the ark of the testimony and the two tables 
of stone which it contains. Then we shall enter the Holy 
of Holies.' 

(10) From that day our ancestors offered their sacrifices 
and burnt-offerings and continual offerings every day, for the 
kings of Persia had assisted them with gold and silver, 
with wheat, oil and wine, with oxen, sheep and rams, 
everything that they desired, year after year, for the kings 
of Persia loved the temple of our God, and its sanctuary 
they greatly honoured. 

LXXVIII. (1) And Cyrus reigned over all the kingdoms 
of the earth, for our God strengthened his right hand 
so that he subdued many nations. He (God) opened before 
him the gates of iron and broke the doors of brass, and 
revealed to him hidden treasures, just as He had told 
through Isaiah the prophet to his people, the servants 
of Jacob and Israel whom He had chosen. And the 
hand of Cyrus was strengthened, and, going to battle, he 
captured all the land, all the fords of India, as well as 
those in the south, the whole land of Ethiopia, all the 
nations dwelling in the lands of the south (Arabia), and in 
the west as far as Sefarad, and in the north, the land of 
Moqedon, and all the land of Kaftor and Ararat, the 
whole of Alan {f?i^), Alasar (iD'PiS), and the mountains of Alaf 
{^^^), i.e., the mountains of darkness, as far as the Snow 
Mountains, which are impassable. The rest of his mighty 
deeds and his battles, are they not written in the Book of 
Chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia, and in the 
book of Joseph ben Gorion, the anointed priest of battle. 

LXXVIII 4] 235 

who was exiled from Jerusalem in the reign of Yespasianus, 
and in the Book of Chronicles of the kings of Eome ? 

(2) Cyrus the king ended his days in battle, and died in 
the land of the Shittim ; but this need not cause surprise, 
for we know that Saul, the anointed of the Lord, also died 
in battle, as well as King Josiah, the beloved of God. 
(3) When Cyrus went to the land of Shittim, he smote their 
king at the edge of the sword, together with his warriors, 
because they raised their hands against the king {i.e., him- 
self). And when they fell, the Shittites fled with their 
queen, Tamirah (.-n^Dn), and her son until they came to 
their fortresses, and there they shut themselves in. As 
soon as Cyrus saw that they had shut themselves in their 
castles and that no one went out or in, he enticed them 
out by a ruse, for he departed with all his camp as if 
seeking to find an escape, whereupon the Shittites, with 
' Tamirah's son, came out of their castles to pursue them. 
When they had come out into the plain, Cyrus suddenly 
turned upon them, and smote 300,000 of their warriors, 
and among the slain was found the son of their queen 
Tamirah. Cyrus then took all the Shittites prisoners, 
except those who had escaped to the mountains with the 
warriors. AVhen Tamyris saw that her son had been slain 
with the other soldiers, she was exceedingly grieved, and 
went wandering about the mountains and valleys of the 
Shittites, lying in ambush. When Cyrus left the land of 
the Shittites, he being confident of his victory, never 
thought of any possible ambush ; therefore his army passed 
on before him, and, being left behind with a few followers, 
he encamped between two mountains and lay there down 
to sleep. 

(4) On the same night he was attacked by the woman, who 
was like a wild beast, like a lioness bereaved of her cubs, and 
like a bereaved bear. She smote the whole camp of Cyrus, 
numbering 200,000 mighty men of Persia, together with 
their king. Then, strengthening herself, she went to the 
dead body of Cyrus, and, cutting off his head and placing it in 
a leather bottle, which she filled with the blood of the slain, 

236 [LXXVIII. 5 

she said, * Drink and satisfy thyself with the hlood which 
thou hast been so fond of shedding these thirty years with- 
out tiring.' 

(5) Cyrus being thus gathered to his people, Cambisa, 
his son, reigned in his stead. As soon as he was enthroned 
he went to Shittim and destroyed the remainder of its 
inhabitants, together with their queen, Tamirah, and all her 
offspring. After him, Ahasuerus arose and abohshed all 
the work of the temple, for the enemies of the Jews had 
increased, and had written accusations at the beginning of 
Ahasuerus' reign. Thus the service of the temple was 
stopped until the second year of the reign of Darius, King 
of Persia. 

LXXIX. (1) But our ancestors served the kings of Media 
and Persia with great loyalty, for they neither did them 
harm nor oppressed them. It was only in the time of 
Ahasuerus that the memory of Judah was nearly destroyed 
through the enmity of Haman the Amalekite, because 
Mordecai, a descendant of Saul, who smote the Amalekites 
from Havilah to Shur, a distance of several days, would not 
rise before him. He slew more than 500,000 Amalekites, 
and put to the sword their men, women, and children, to 
the number of thousands of thousands. It was for this 
reason that Haman, who was descended from them, 
cherished that hatred against the people of Judah, and 
especially against the tribe of Benjamin. 

(2) Now, in the days of Ahasuerus, when Mordecai was 
sitting at the gate of the king he discovered a secret plot of 
two Persian princes, Bigthan and Teresh, whom he heard 
whispering and plotting to sever the head of the king 
while he lay in his bed, in order to carry it to the 
Macedonian king, for at that time the Macedonian empire 
was warring against the Persian kingdom. This plot 
Mordecai revealed to Esther, and she in her turn to the 
king, who commanded this act of loyalty on the part of 
Mordecai to be noted down in the Book of Chronicles, as 
well as the reward due to him. When, however, these two 
chamberlains were hanged it incurred the wrath of Haman, 

Lxxix. 4] 237 

for they were his counsellors, and he, therefore, sought to 
blot out the name of Judah from under the heavens. But 
Mordecai discovered this plan of his and remembered the 
dream he had in the second year of the reign of Ahasuerus. 
(3) It was the following: There w^as a great earthquake, 
accompanied by a noise and the sound of wailing in the 
land, so that fear and terror fell upon all the inhabitants, 
and two immense dragons with terrible noise went against 
each other in battle, w^hereupon all the inhabitants ran 
towards the spot. Living among them was a small nation, 
and all the nations round about it rose up to destroy their 
memory from the face of the earth. On that day every- 
where it was thick darkness, and the small nation, being 
much oppressed, cried unto the Lord. The dragons con- 
tinued to fight furiously and nobody could separate them ; 
when lo ! Mordecai saw a small brook of water passing 
between the two dragons, which separated them, for the 
brook soon grew into an overflowing river, like the over- 
flowing of the Great Sea, so that it flooded the whole 
earth. The sun then shone upon the earth, and the small 
nation was raised to exaltation, while the proud ones were 
humbled, and peace and truth were restored in the world. 

(4) Mordecai from that day always nursed that dream in 
his heart, and when Haman oppressed him, he said to 
Esther, 'Eemember the dream I narrated to thee in the 
days of thy youth. Now arise, and, beseeching the Lord for 
mercy, go into the presence of Ahasuerus ; stand before 
him in all thy beauty, and plead the cause of thy people 
and thy kindred.' And Mordecai supplicated to God, 
saying, ' It is w^ell known and revealed to the throne of 
Thy glory, Lord of the universe, that it was not from 
pride or haughtiness I refused to bow down to this 
Amalekite, but on account of the reverence I have for 
Thee I opposed him, refusing to bow down, for I fear 
Thee alone, Lord of the universe, and would not, there- 
fore, give Thine honour to flesh and blood ; therefore, I 
would prostrate myself to no being except Thy holy 
presence. And who am I that would not bow down to 

238 [LXXTX. 5 

Haman? Yet for Israel's salvation I would lick the shoe 
upon his foot, and the dust upon which he walks. 
(5) Lord, deliver them from his hand, that he may fall 
into the pit which he has dug for us, and be caught in the 
net which he has spread (hidden) under the feet of Thy 
pious men, that they may thereby know that Thou hast not 
forgotten the oath Thou didst swear ; for Thou didst not 
deliver us into captivity because Thou wert not able to save 
us, but because of our sins and our iniquities, for we have 
sinned against Thee. But Thou, our God, art mighty in 
salvation ; therefore save us, Lord, from his hand ; in our 
distress we call upon Thee to protect us, and to stand up in 
our midst to fight those who rise up against us. Eemember, 
we beseech Thee, that we are Thy portion ; for of old, when 
Thou didst give the nations their inheritance, and when 
Thou didst separate the sons of men, we were Thy portion ; 
the lot which Thou didst cast fell upon us to be chosen for 
Thy name. (6) Why, God, should our enemies say we 
have no God ? why should they open wide their mouth to 
swallow up Thy portion and praise their idols and vanities ? 
We beseech Thee, Lord, send salvation unto us ; let them 
be ashamed of their idols and vanities, and let them place 
their hand upon their mouth and see Thy salvation, 
Lord. Have mercy upon Thy people, and upon Thine 
inheritance. Do not close the mouths of those who praise 
Thee and proclaim Thy unity evening and morning 
continually. Turn our sorrow to joy and gladness, that we 
may live and give Thee thanks for the blessed salvation by 
which Thou wilt save us.' And all Israel cried unto the 
Lord for the trouble and sorrow which had come upon 

Esther's Prayer. 

LXXX. (1) And Esther fled to the Lord, for she feared 
the evil which was growing ; and, stripping herself of her 
royal garments and the ornaments of her majesty, she 
clothed herself in sackcloth, and dishevelling the hair of 
her head, she put dust and ashes upon it. Then, afflicting 

LXXX. 3] 239 

her soul with fasting, she fell upon her face in prayer, 
saying, ' Lord God of Israel, who art the King of kings,' 
who art to be feared, who createdst the world, and who 
rulest over us, help Thine handmaid in her desolation, for 
she has no saviour except Thee. Behold, I dwell in the 
king's palace alone, without father or mother. Like an 
afflicted orphan begging charity from house to house, so do 
I beg for Thy mercy, from one window to the other in the 
palace of King Ahasuerus, and have done so from the time 
I was brought here until this present day. (2) Lord, if 
it is pleasing to Thee, take my soul from my own hand ; 
and if not, then deliver, I beseech Thee, the flock of Thy 
pasture from those lions who have risen up against them ; 
for my father taught me that Thou didst redeem our 
forefathers from Egypt, and didst slay all the firstborn of 
the Egyptians. Thou didst bring Thy people forth thence 
with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, and didst 
cause them to pass over the sea like a horse on dry land. 
Thou didst give them food from heaven, water from the 
cleft of the rock, and meat in plenty. Thou didst smite 
great and mighty kings before them, and caused them to 
inherit the goodly land. But when om^ ancestors sinned 
against Thy great name, then didst Thou deliver them into 
captivity ; and here we are in exile to this day. My father 
further told me that, through Moses Thy servant. Thou 
didst say, " When also they shall be in the land of their 
enemies, I will never forsake them." 

^ (B) ' Now, Lord, Father of the fatherless, stand at the 
right hand of this orphan, who trusts in Thee, and grant 
me mercy when I am in the presence of King Ahasuerus, 
for I fear him as a kid fears the lion. Make lowly all his 
counsellors, that he may be humbled and subdued before 
the grace and beauty Thou hast given me. my God, 
cause his heart to hate our enemies and to love Thy 
servants, for the heart of kings is in Thy hand. Thou 
mighty, revered, and exalted God, deliver me from the fear 
and trembling which have taken hold of me, that I may go 
into his presence in Thy name, and come out in peace.' 

240 [LXXX. 4 

(4) On the third day Esther accordingly clothed herself 
in royal garments, and came before the king, who was 
sitting upon the throne, accompanied by her two hand- 
maidens. Upon one of them she placed her right hand, 
and leaned upon her, according to the royal custom, while 
the other maiden followed behind her to hold up her train, 
that the gold and precious stones should not touch the 
ground. Before him were seated all the potentates of the 
kingdom, who said one to the other, ' This woman is sure 
to be killed, since she has entered here without an appointed 
time.' One said, 'I will then take her royal garments'; 
a,nother, 'I shall take the ornaments on her feet'; and 
another, ' I will take the ornaments on her hands.' When 
Esther heard these remarks, she kept her face serene, and 
■concealed the grief of her soul. 

(5) The king, then raising his eyes to her, was much 
enraged that she had transgressed the law by coming into 
his presence without being called. When Esther noticed 
the king's anger and fury, she trembled, and, feeling faint, 
placed her head upon the maid at her right ; but our Lord 
saw the oppression of His people, and had pity upon Israel 
and upon the trouble of the orphan who trusted in Him, and 
He made her find favour in the eyes of the king, for the 
Lord added beauty to her beauty and majesty to her majesty, 
and the king, rising in haste from his throne, ran towards 
Esther, and embraced and kissed her, and, taking her in 
his arms, said to her, ' What is this fear, Queen Esther? 
for this decree of ours does not apply to thee, since thou art 
the queen, my friend and companion ;' and, taking up the 
golden sceptre, he placed it into her hand, and added, 
' Why dost thou not speak to me ?' And Esther replied, 
* When I saw thee, lord, my soul trembled before thine 
honour, and on account of the greatness of thy glory.' 

(6) She then leaned her head once more upon her 
handmaid, for she was faint from fasting and from 
trouble. The king, however, was now very much alarmed 
at this, and wept before his wife, while all his ministers 
■entreated her to speak to the king, in order to appease 

LXXXI. 2] 241 

his soul. And the Lord brought about that great 
salvation through Queen Esther and Mordecai. Haman 
and his sons were hanged upon the gallows, and all those 
who devised evil against Israel were slain at the edge of 
the sword, and Mordecai from that day forth was honoured 
in the king's palace. 

[This is the letter which Haman sent (to the nations), for 
the purpose of causing the house of Jacob to perish.] 

LXXXI. (1) 'I, Haman, who am great before the king, 
and second to him, who am the chief of the potentates, and 
seventh among the princes, and who am the most favoured 
in the kingdom — I, Haman, do write with the consent of 
all the prefects (eparchs), governors, rulers, and of all the 
kings of the East who lend their aid, and with the consent 
of all the royal princes. We all with one consent, with one 
mouth, with one speech, and in one language, write down, 
with the permission of King Ahasuerus, and seal it with 
his ring, so that it cannot be retracted, concermng the 
great eagle, whose wings were spread over the whole world, 
so that no bird, beast, or animal was able to stand before 
it, until the great Mede arose and smote it with one great 
blow, by which its wings were broken, its feathers plucked 
out, and its legs cut off, thereby giving the whole world 
rest, peace, and tranquillity, from the time it wandered 
from its nest until this very day. We now see that it 
wishes to grow and to increase its feathers and to spread 
out its wings again to cover us and the whole world, and 
to rend us in pieces in the same manner as it rent our fore- 
fathers who preceded us. 

(2) ' On this account all the great men of Media and 
Persia have here assembled, and with the permission 
of the king we all of us with one counsel write to you 
to spread out nets to catch this eagle, whose strength again 
increases, and bring her back to her nest, to pluck out 
her feathers and to break her wings, to give her flesh to 
the birds of the heaven, to destroy her seed, to crush her 
young, and to root out her memory from the world. Our 


242 [Lxxxi. 3 

counsel is not like Pharaoh's, who decreed only concerning 
the males, leaving the females ; nor as Esau's, who said, 
" Now that the days of my father's mourning draw nigh, 
I will kill my brother Jacob, and make his sons my 
servants " ; nor like Amalek's, who pursued Israel, and 
slew the weak, but let the strong remain ; nor like 
Nebuchadnezzar's, who exiled them, and, giving them rest, 
promoted some to the throne of the kingdom ; nor like 
Sennacherib's, who brought them to a land like their own ; 
(3) but with a united wish, we have decided to destroy and 
to blot out all the Jews, young and old, women and children, 
and all on one day, so that there be no seed left in the world, 
that their children act not as they did to our ancestors, to 
our fathers, and our great men, for those who did good to 
them they rewarded with evil. We would be justified even 
if we took only revenge for Pharaoh, who did many good 
deeds for them, for he made Joseph, a servant, king over 
them and over all Egypt, and when his father and brothers 
came to him, he gave them the very best part of the 
land to dwell in, and maintained them during the years 
of famine, so that his people increased and multiplied in 
the land, and a prophet arose among them, Moses by 
name, the son of Amram. He was a wizard, and brought 
upon Pharaoh, upon his household, and upon his land, 
great plagues, awful and extraordinary. The people then 
rose up in the middle of the night like thieves, and, 
after robbing their neighbours, went out of the land. But 
Pharaoh, with his army, pursued them for their property, 
and they entered the sea through the enchantments of the 
Israelites ; but they did not know by what means they had 
entered, and they were all drowned in the sea, thus return- 
ing evil for good. 

(4) ' When they arrived in the wilderness, a certain 
old man, a descendant of Esau, offered them a feast in 
honour of their ancestor Jacob, and after they had eaten 
and drunk and enjoyed his feast — Joshua their wizard did 
not cease with his enchantments — but they spread their 
hands and whispered with their lips, until our ancestors 

Lxxxi. 6] 243 

became weak through him, as it is said, " And Joshua 
weakened them "; nor was this alone sufficient for them, 
but they made a decree that our name should be blotted 
out, as it is said, " Thou shalt destroy the memory of 
Amalek." They did likewise to the kings of Midian who 
dwelt there, for they spoiled and slew the Midianite kings, 
their prophets and their priest they slew at the edge of 
the sword, and had no mercy upon them, as it is said, 
" And Balaam, the son of Beor, they slew with the sword, 
also Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings." Also the 
thirty-one kings and seventy elders. Then arose their 
king, Saul, who destroyed all the seed of Amalek, and 
had not our ancestor Agag been preserved, there would 
not have been one single survivor. They strengthened 
themselves against our kingdom, and destroyed us, not by 
means of the spear or the sword, but, having built a large 
house, they entered therein, and when they came out, they 
caused the nations to fall down before their words by 
means of their wiles.' 

(5) "When the nations of the world read this writing, 
they sent back word to Haman, saying, * Whatever thou 
hast written we know, but we fear lest they do the same to 
us as they did to our forefathers and our ancestors, for we 
shall perish at their hands. Cease, therefore, from them, 
for whoever touches them touches the apple of God's eye, 
for they are called " The people near to Him," as it is said, 
" And the children of Israel are the people near to Him ; they 
are His beloved. His treasure, and His inheritance." Now, 
Haman, what wilt thou do ? for see what happens to those 
who pursue them, see how the mighty men of the world 
have fallen beneath them. We therefore do not wish to 
lay hand upon them, for their God has called them the 
stone of foundation, and whenever it is moved He shall 
replace it.' 

(6) Haman once more wTote to them, saying that ' their 
God, whom you fear so much, does not fight their battles, 
nor does He avenge their wrongs ; He only did so in His 
youth, but now He has become weak, and has no more 


244 [LXXXI. 7 

power to wreak vengeance ; for if He had, why did He not 
deliver them from Nebuchadnezzar, who destroyed His house, 
burnt His temple, and slew His young men, and before 
whom He had no power, for the remnant was then exiled 
to his land (Babylon). And now though they are prisoners 
in our hands, we wish to intermarry with them, but they do 
not wish it. They, on the contrary, despise us, and 
account us as reptiles and creeping things ; if a fly happens 
to fall into one of their cups, he throws it out and drinks 
the wine, and if one of us happens to touch the cup of one 
of them, he throws it on the ground and breaks it. If we 
ask them for anything, although we desire to return them 
double, in order to unite them to us, they do not wish it, 
but despise us and our kingdom. It is therefore our desire, 
with the king's consent, as well as the consent of the 
princes, rulers, governors, and pashas, to destroy them 
utterly from the world, both young and old, women and 
children, in one day, as it is said, " Come, and let us 
destroy them." ' 

(7) As soon as the surrounding nations heard this, with 
one accord they consented to destroy the Israelites, as 
it is said, ' Those kings counselled together,' etc. One 
day when Haman was walking along, with the princes of 
the kingdom following him, Mordecai, while walking in 
front of them, met three children just coming from school, 
and said to them, ' Tell me each of you what lesson you 
have learnt to-day.' The first one replied, ' Do not be 
hastily terrified.' The second replied, ' Take counsel 
together, and it shall be brought to nought;' and the 
third said, ' Until old age I am He.' On hearing these 
replies Mordecai rejoiced, and gave thanks to God. When 
Haman met him, he said, ' What did these children tell 
thee?' And he replied, 'They told me good tidings.' At 
this Haman's anger was kindled, and he commanded the 
children to be captured, saying, ' I will stretch forth my 
hand first against these children.' [End of the letter.] 

LXXXII. (1) E. Isaak Kapha said Haman worked cun- 
ningly against Israel, for it is written, ' And when these days 

LXXXIT. 3] 245 

were fulfilled, the king made a feast unto all the people.' 
' The people ' here referred to is Israel. Haman said to 
Ahasuerus, ' The God of these people hates lewdness, for it 
is written in the Torah, " Thou shalt not commit adultery." ' 
He, therefore, brought together lewd women, and making 
the banquet for them, decreed that they should comply with 
any man's wish, so as not to give the accused the excuse 
of saying that they had been forced to do such a thing 
by a decree of the king. As soon, however, as Mordecai 
perceived this, he said to the people, ' Do not go to this 
banquet, that you may not be led into temptation.' But 
the Jews disregarded Mordecai's advice, and went. 

(2) R. Levi said that 18,560 men went to this banquet, 
and ate and drank until they were intoxicated with the 
wine. Our sages say that while they were at the table 
of this wicked man, Satan appeared before God, and 
accused Israel in these words, ' Lord of the universe, 
how long wilt Thou cleave to this nation, who turn their 
hearts from Thee, who forsake Thee, and separate them- 
selves from Thee ? Moreover, they do not turn to Thee in 
repentance, although the verse has been fulfilled in which 
it is written, '' I shall scatter you among the heathen." 
Therefore, if it is Thy will, let them perish from the world.' 
But God asked, 'What will become of My law?' And 
he replied, ' Let it remain for the higher beings.' Then 
said the Holy One, blessed be He, ' My mind is satisfied to 
destroy Israel.' (3) At that moment He wished to blot 
Israel out of the world, as it is said, ' I shall cease to 
remember man.' ' What is this nation to Me,' said the 
Lord, 'for whom My sorrow increases every day?' And 
God said to Satan, 'Go, and bring Me a scroll, that I 
may write thereon their destruction.' When Satan went 
out to fetch the scroll, he came face to face with the 
Law, which came forth to meet him in widow's garments 
groaning and weeping, and at the voice of her weeping 
the ministering angels cried, saying, 'If the Israelites 
are to be destroyed, what is the use of us?' And they 
wept aloud, as it is said, ' The Arelim cried abroad, and 

246 [LXXXII. 4 

the angels of peace wept bitterly.' As soon as the sun, 
moon, stars, and planets heard it they clothed themselves 
with sackcloth, and lifted up their voice in lamentation, 
as it is said, ' The heavens and the earth clothed them- 
selves in blackness, and girded themselves with sackcloth ;' 
as it is said, ' I will clothe the heavens with blackness, 
and make sackcloth their garment.' Then they all ex- 
claimed, ' Lord of the universe, shall Israel be destroyed, 
who go from door to door wishing to study the law, 
observe the Sabbath, circumcision, and the commandments, 
and for whose sakes we were created? as it is said, " If not 
for My covenant, the day and the night and the ordinances 
of heaven and earth would not have been founded," and 
now shall they perish from the world?' 

(4) At that moment Elijah w^ent to beseech the righteous 
men of yore, the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 
and said to them, ' patriarchs, do ye not know that 
the heavens and the earth and all the heavenly host weep 
in the day, and cry in the night, and that the whole 
world is now like a travailing woman, while ye remain 
silent?' 'But why is this?' said they. 'Because Israel 
has been handed over to the slaughterer like sheep, to be 
blotted out from the face of the earth, and their name is to 
perish, as it is said, " Come, and let us destroy them." ' 
Then said Moses to Elijah, ' Is there a righteous man in 
this generation ?' And he replied, ' Yes, there is one, and 
his name is Mordecai, the son of Jair.' ' Then go, and tell 
him to supplicate continually for mercy, and I shall do 
likewise.' 'But,' said Elijah, 'Moses, faithful shepherd, 
against thy flock the decree has already been written down, 
and now they desire to put the seal on it.' 

(5) ' Notice,' then said Moses to Elijah, ' whether it has 
been sealed with clay, for then our prayers may still be 
heard ; but if it is sealed with blood, then what has been 
decreed will happen.' After this conversation Elijah, of 
blessed memory, forthwith went to Mordecai, as it is said, 
'And Mordecai knew all that had happened,' and when 
he heard this, he rent his clothes, as it is said, ' And 

LXXXII. 8] 247 

Mordecai rent his clothes.' Then said Mordecai before God, 
' Lord of the universe, Thou hast sworn to our fore- 
fathers to make their seed as numerous as the stars of 
the heavens, and now we are accounted for as sheep to be 
slaughtered. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy 


(6) Then, gathering all the children of the school together, 
he afflicted them by depriving them of bread and water, 
and, clothing them in sackcloth, he placed them on ashes, 
so that they cried day and night, while the wicked Haman 
went to his house rejoicing, as it is written, ' And on that 
day Haman went home rejoicing, and with a merry heart, 
and calling his friends, -said, " Thus and thus has Queen 
Esther done." And he told them of his greatness, adding, 
'' But all this is not enough for me." And Zeresh, his wife, 
said to him to erect gallows for Mordecai, and it pleased him, 
and he erected a gallows. Cutting down a cedar from his 
garden, 50 cubits high and 15 cubits wide, he brought it 
out, and fixed it near his door, all the while singing praises 
and songs, and thinking in his heart that at the time of 
the reading of the ' Shema' ' he would hang Mordecai 
thereon. On the same day that he fixed it, it fell upon 
him ; but Gabriel replaced it in its position, saying to him, 
' To thee belongs this beautiful tree, and for thee was it 
established from the creation.' 

(7) Haman then went out to seek Mordecai, and found 
him sitting at the head of the children, while they sat upon 
ashes girded with sackcloth, lamenting and crying. Having 
beaten them with chains of iron, he appointed keepers over 
them, saying, ' First shall these be slain, and afterwards I 
will hang Mordecai the Jew.' Their mothers then brought 
them bread and water, saying to them, ' Eat and drink, my 
children, before you die'; but they refused, and, swearing 
by the life of Mordecai, they placed their hands upon their 
books, and said, ' We shall not eat anything at all, but 
shall die in our fast.' (8) After rolling up his scroll, each 
one of them placed it at his heart, and when the hours of 
the night passed by their lamentation was heard on high, 

248 [LXXXIII. 1 

and the supplications of the patriarchs. The Holy One 
said, ' I hear the voices of kids and goats;' at which Moses 
replied, ' Lord God of the universe, Father of the father- 
less, and Judge of the widows, these are not kids and goats, 
but the young of Thy people of the house of Israel, who sit 
fasting now for three days and three nights, bound in 
chains of iron ; but to-morrow they are to be slaughtered 
like kids and goats, while the heart of the enemy re joiceth.' 
The mercy of God was then moved for them, so that He 
broke the seals, rent the decree, and frustrated the counsel 
of Haman and his plans, causing the salvation of Israel and 
Mordecai to spring forth, thus fulfilling what is written, ' I 
shall cut off the horns of the wicked ; but the horns of the 
righteous shall be raised on high.' 

LXXXIII. (1) It is written. On that same night the sleep 
of the king was disturbed. God at that time said to the 
patriarchs, ' They have been condemned to destruction ;' 
they replied, ' Lord of the universe, for what reason ?' 
' Because in the time of Nebuchadnezzar they did not 
sanctify My name, and made Me to be one who hath no 
power to deliver.' Whereupon they replied, ' Now, 
Lord, do unto them what seems good to Thee.' But as 
soon as God saw that they bowed to justice. He arose from 
His throne of justice, and sat upon the throne of mercy. 
Then did the heavenly host address God, saying, ' Didst 
Thou not create the whole world for the sake of the Torah, 
which Thou gavest to Israel? do not all things exist for 
their sake ? as it is said, " If not for My covenant I w^ould 
not have created day and night." Therefore, if Thou 
destroyest this nation, what shall become of us ?' But 
God replied, ' My children have not done well.' ' Lord 
of the w^orld,' added they, ' it is revealed and known to Thee 
that they did this from fear.' 

(2) The Lord was then filled with mercy for Israel, and, 
calling to the trees of the creation, He said, ' Who of you 
will be willing to serve as gallows for the wicked ?' And 
the fig-tree replied, ' I am ready to be the gallows to hang 
that wicked man ; for from me the Israelites brought the 

Lxxxiii. 5] 249 

first ripe fruits into the temple, and not only this, but 
they were compared to me,' as it is said, ' I saw your 
fathers as the first ripe fruit on the fig-tree in its bud.' 
The vine also said, ' I will offer myself, for from me they 
obtained the drink-offering for the temple ; and, moreover, 
to me they were compared,' as it is said, ' Israel is a 
budding vine.' 

(3) Then said the pomegranate, ' I will offer myself, 
for the Israelites were compared to me,' as it is said, ' Like 
the heart of a pomegranate is thy temple.' And the 
walnut said, 'I will offer myself, for the Israelites were 
compared to me,' as it is said, ' I descended to the garden 
of nuts.' The citron also exclaimed, ' I will offer myself, 
for the Israelites praised God through me,' as it is said, 
'And ye shall take you the fruit of goodly trees.' The 
willows of the brook said, ' They were compared to me,' as 
it is said, ' And they shall spring up among the grass, as 
willows by the water-courses.' The olive said, ' I will offer 
myself, for from me they kindled the lights in the temple,' 
as it is said, ' And they shall take unto me pure olive-oil ' ; 
* they were, moreover, compared to me,' as it is said, ' His 
majesty is like the olive, and, further, the green olive whose 
fruit is beautiful to look at.' 

(4) The apple also said, ' I will offer myself, for the 
Israelites were compared to me,' as it is said, ' And the 
sweet smell of thy breath is like apples.' The cedar said, 
' I will offer myself, for from me the holy temple was built, 
besides which the Israelites were compared to me,' as it is 
said, 'He shall grow like the cedar in Lebanon.' The 
thorn next said, 'I will serve as gallows, for the wicked 
were compared to me,' as it is said, ' But the ungodly shall 
he all as thorns to be thrust away.' 

(5) As soon as the thorn had offered itself, the Lord 
silenced all the trees of the creation, saying, ' Since thou 
•offerest thyself, this wicked man, who desires to destroy 
My children, shall be hanged upon thee.' And at that 
moment that wicked man, summoning his wise men, said 
unto them, ' I will erect a tree, to hang Mordecai thereon. 

250 [LXXXIII. 6 

50 cubits high, that all the surrounding countries may see 
him hanging.' ' But there is no tree as high as that, 
except in thine own house.' This wicked man then 
destroyed the hall of his own house in order to obtain the 
materials required for the gallows, and taking the beam of 
thorn from his house, he fixed it ; but it fell upon him, and 
thereby took his measurement. Then exclaimed Gabriel, 
' This tree has been prepared for thee from the creation.' 

(6) The sages say that Michael came to the bedside of 
Ahasuerus in the night, and disturbed his sleep, for he 
knocked him on the ground 366 times. When he arose, in 
great anger, he saw three companies before him, one of 
butchers, one of bakers, and the third of butlers, and said 
to them, ' Ye have given me poison, and you seek to kill me 
and to blot me out from the world.' But they answered, 
' The same bread that Queen Esther and Haman ate thou 
atest, and the wine they drank thou also drankest. Let us 
see Esther and Haman, and if they are as thou art, then 
thou doest rightly ; but if not, then why should we be 
killed ?' 

(7) When they found that Esther and Haman had suffered 
no harm, the king ordered the Book of Chronicles to be 
brought before him. On that same night Gabriel appeared 
in his dream before Ahasuerus, in the likeness of Haman, 
with a drawn sword in his hand, seeking to kill him. Rising 
confusedly from his sleep he exclaimed, ' Who is in the 
court ?' And the young chamberlains of the king replied, 
' Haman is in the court.' Then he thought, and said, 
' The dream I have dreamt is true, and he has come here 
for no other reason than to slay me.' Then, commanding 
Haman to come into his presence, he said, ' I know that 
thou art a man of thought, and whoever follows thy counsel 
never fails. What shall be done to the man whom the 
king delights to honour ?' Pievolving this in his mind, 
Haman thought, ' Whom can the king desire to honour 
more than me ?' 

(8) He therefore said to the king : ' Let the man whom 
the king desires to honour be clothed in the royal garments,. 

LXXXIV. 2] 251 

and let one of the greatest men of the kmgdom walk m 
front of him and proclaim aloud these words, "Whoever 
will not bend himself or bow down before him shall be 
slain," and in addition, let the king's daughter be given 
him.' Then said the king to Haman, ' Go and do likewise 
to Mordecai the Jew who sits in the gate of the king.' ' But 
there are many Mordecais who sit in the king's gate, and 
is not a small province sufficient for him ?' asked Haman. 
The king said, ' Let no word fail from all that thou hast 

[End of the letter of Haman. This is a Midrash, and is 
not to be found in the Book of Josippon.] 

The Throne of Solomon, King of Israel. 

LXXXIV. (1) 'In those days, when Ahasuerus sat (upon 
the throne).' The word nn::'D can only be understood as 
meaning ' sitting on a throne,' as it is said, 'When Ahasuerus 
sat upon the throne of his kingdom ;' but with reference to 
Solomon, it is said, ' And Solomon sat upon the throne of 
the Lord as king over Israel.' It is related that the 
assembly of Israel said unto God, ' Lord of the universe, 
this wicked man sits in the same place where Solomon has 
been sitting ; do not make abominable the throne of Thy 
glory.' In the third year of his reign — for he busied him- 
self with this throne for three years — he sent for workmen 
to make a throne like unto that of Solomon, but they were 
unable to do so. 

(2) And what was the throne of Solomon ? The sages 
say that Solomon mounted his throne by six different 
ways, each way having steps. On each step there were 
two lions, one on the right and the other on the left, who 
did not remain quiet, but were active. And what did they 
do ? When Solomon went up on the first step, the lions 
on the right stretched out their paws upon which a writing 
was engraved. He could not place his foot on the second 
step until he had read what was written on the lions' 
paws. It was, 'Ye shall not respect persons in judgment.' 

252 [Lxxxiv. 3 

Turning now to the left, he read what the other lions had 
written on their paws, ' Thou shalt not accept any bribe.' 
(3) Thus at every step he had to read some portion of the 
law of judgment. All the steps were set with precious 
stones and pearls, red, white and green. Kinds of trees 
and species of the palm-trees were fixed on both sides of 
each step, and upon their branches there nestled all kinds 
of eagles, peacocks and birds. On the highest step were 
two huge pillars of ivory on the heads of the lions, and two 
golden hollow vines fragrant with every kind of perfume, 
which they exhaled whenever Solomon ascended the throne. 
The throne itself was made of ivory, overlaid with the gold 
of Ophir, and surrounded with precious stones and pearls. 
On either side of the throne a golden seat of honour was 
placed, one for Gad the seer, and the other for Nathan the 
prophet. (4) And seventy other seats of gold for the seventy 
judges of the Sanhedrim formed a circle round the central 
throne. In front of it was a lamp of gold, with its snuffers 
and censers and other appurtenances ; and on one side of this 
lamp were seen in sculptured work the seven patriarchs of 
the world, viz., Adam, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob 
and Job, while on the other side were the seven pious men 
of the world, viz., Kehath, Amran, Moses, Aaron, Eldad, 
Medad and Hur, and on the top the form of a priest was 
seen kindling the light. 

(5) On the steps approaching the throne were placed as 
many unclean animals as clean, all facing each other, on 
the first step the ox was placed opposite the lion ; on the 
second, the goat opposite the wolf ; on the third (third 
missing) ; on the fourth, the bear opposite the hart ; on 
the fifth, the eagle opposite the dove ; and on the sixth, the 
hawk opposite the turtledove. The ascent to the throne 
was made between these animals. As soon as Solomon 
placed his foot on the first step he turned round, and the 
lion immediately stretched out its paw on the right and 
the eagle its talon on the left. Upon these he leaned, 
and was spared the trouble of ascending himself because 
the same thing was done by the different animals and 

LXXXIY. 8] 253 

birds on each until he arrived at the top. (6) Then all 
the birds of every species began to chirp and sing, and 
the peacocks to shriek, and all the trees emitted their 
fragrant perfumes. A serpent of gold then encircled him, 
and, having seated him upon his throne, crept down 
beneath his feet. The eagles, nestling on the vines after 
wafting breezes of perfume with their wings, placed the 
crown upon his head, and, this done, all the beasts and 
birds with one accord exclaimed, ' Long may the kingdom 
of the house of David be established.' (7) After this a dove 
of gold opposite the throne brought a scroll of the law and 
placed it upon his knees. Then, laying it upon a golden 
reading-desk just by the throne, he read it to fulfil 
what is written, ' And it shall remain with him, and he 
shall read therein all the days of his life.' Every step 
on the throne contained some verse in praise of the 
law\ On the first was written, ' The law of the Lord is 
perfect, refreshing the soul.' On the second, ' The testi- 
mony of the Lord is faithful, making the foolish (simple) 
wise.' On the third, ' The precepts of the Lord are just, 
rejoicing the heart. ■* On the fourth, ' The commandment 
of the Lord He created as an enlightenment to the eyes.' 
On the fifth, ' The fear of the Lord is pure, lasting for 
ever.' On the sixth, ' The judgments of the Lord are true, 
and are righteous, all of them.' 

(8) When the people approached Solomon for judgment, 
the wheels of his throne turned, the oxen lowed, the lions 
roared, the bears howded, the lambs bleated, the eagles 
cried, the peacocks shrieked, the cocks crowed, the haw-ks 
screamed, and all the birds chirped, to terrify the plain- 
tiffs and the witnesses, so that they did not plead wrong 
cases, and the witnesses w^ere not testifying falsely. On 
account of all this, it is said, ' The like of it will never be 
made in any kingdom.' When Ahasuerus was king, he 
tried for three years to have a throne made like that of 
Solomon, but in vain. [End of the throne of Solomon.] 

254 [Lxxxv. 1 

The Book of the Maccabee. 

LXXXV. (1) In the first year of his reign, Cyrus tried 
to build the temple, but when Ahasuerus arose he pro- 
hibited it, and attempted to uproot the vineyard (of the 
Lord), but God exterminated him and the wicked Haman 
from the world, and he died. His son succeeded him. 
These are the kings mentioned, ' Darius,' ' Cyrus,' and 
' Artaxerxes.' Then the people believed the prophets and 
were prosperous. In the second year of his reign he allowed 
the Jews to return to Jerusalem to erect the holy temple 
and repair Jerusalem without let or hindrance. This was, 
indeed, a complete redemption. Then did Ezra, Zerub- 
babel, and his company for the second time go up to 
Jerusalem with another generation of the captivity, and 
they rebuilt Jerusalem and its walls. The towers they 
erected were very high and strong, and the temple contained 
more than did the first one, so that the first temple was 
deemed insignificant in comparison to it. The people on 
this account served Cyrus loyally for thirty-four years. 

(2) After the rebuilding of the temple, Zerubbabel 
returned to Babylon and there died. His son, Meshullam, 
succeeded him, and in his days, in the fifty- second year of 
the kingdom of the Medes and Persians, the kingdom was 
formed. The last prophets, Haggai, Zechariah, and 
Malachi, died at that time, and from that day prophecy 
ceased to exist in Israel, and the Echo of the Heavenly 
Voice (Bath Kol) took its place, and after that they had to 
consult the sages, until the Messiah will come and show 
us the right way. 

(3) Thirty-four years after the rebuilding of the temple, 
Darius, the son of Ahasuerus, reigned, until Alexander the 
Macedonian, and first King of Greece, rose up against him 
in battle, and having killed him, took his kingdom. He 
reigned over Israel two years and captured every kingdom ; 
he made the whole world subservient to him, for at that 
time, thirty-four years after the rebuilding of the temple, 
Alexander the Great was crowned, the son of Philippus, 

LXXXV. 5] 255 

King of Macedon, for he made the name of the Macedonian 
nation great, and smote the whole country. When he 
waged war against Darius he smote the land of Egypt, and 
slew in Alexandria double as many Jews as went out of 
Egypt. After conquering Edom, he marched along the 
sea-shore until he came to Acco, which he conquered, as 
well as Ashkalon and 'Aza. He then turned to go up to 
Jerusalem to smite it, because the Jews had made a covenant 
with Darius. After journeying with all his camp some 
distance, he arrived at a lodge, where he and his army 

(4) On the same night, while he was lying in his bed in 
his tent, he opened his eyes and beheld a man standing 
over him, clothed in white linen, and with a drawn sword 
in his hand. The appearance of the sword was like 
lightning on a rainy day. When he lifted the sword over 
the head of the king, he was greatly afraid, and said, * Why 
will my lord smite his servant?' And the man replied, 
' God hath sent me to conquer kings and many nations 
before thee, and I will go before thee to render thee 
assistance, but know now that thou shalt surely be slain, 
because thy heart is bent upon going to Jerusalem in 
order to injure God's priests and God's people.' ' I 
beseech thee, lord,' replied the king, ' pardon the sin of 
thy servant, and if it is evil in thine eyes, I will return to 
my home.' 'Do not be afraid,' said the man; * go thy 
way to Jerusalem, and when thou comest before the gate 
of the city and seest a man clothed in white like me, 
having an appearance and form like mine, do thou 
immediately make thy obeisance to him and bow thyself 
to the ground before him ; do whatever he bids thee and 
do not transgress his word, for the very day that thou 
rebellest against his word thou shalt be slain.' 

(5) The king accordingly arose and went on his way to 
Jerusalem. When the High Priest heard that the king 
was coming against Jerusalem in great anger, he was 
exceedingly afraid, as were all the people, and he with the 
people went out at the gate of the city, and he stood 

256 [Lxxxv. G 

before them clothed in white Hnen. As soon as Alexander 
beheld the priest, quickly dismounting from his chariot, 
he fell upon his face and bowed dow^n to him. But the 
generals of Alexander became very angry at this, and said, 
' Why dost thou bow down to a man who has no strength 
for battle ?' And the king replied, ' Because the man that 
goeth in front of me to subdue all the nations before me 
is in appearance and form like this man. I therefore 
bow down to him.' 

(6) Then, going into our holy temple, he said to the priest, 
' I will have my statue erected here, and will give much 
gold to the workmen, that it may be a remembrance of me. 
And they shall erect it between the Holy of Holies and the 
temple, so that my image be a remembrance in this great 
house of God.' But the priest replied, ' Present the gold 
for the maintenance of God's priests and the poor of His 
people, and I shall cause thee to be remembered for good, 
as thou wishest. All the children of the priests that are 
born this year shall be called by thy name, Alexander, and 
thou shalt be remembered when they w^orship in this 
house ; but it is not permitted to place a graven image or 
any likeness in the house of our God.' The king then gave 
the gold according to the priest's request. 

(7) He asked him to inquire of God on his behalf 
whether he should go to war with Darius, or abandon the 
plan. And the priest replied, ' He will surely be delivered 
into thy hand.' Then, bringing the Book of Daniel, he 
showed him the passage concerning the ram that gores on 
all sides, and the young of the goats which runs up to him 
and tramples upon him. ' Thou,' added he, ' art the young 
of the goats and Darius is the ram. Thou shalt therefore 
trample upon him and seize his kingdom.' Thereupon 
Alexander went to battle, and having slain Darius, captured 
all his kingdom, so that the Persian kingdom ceased to 
exist. Alexandria in Egypt was made the royal city. 

(8) He ruled over all the nations just as a shepherd rules 
over his flock. He soon went over to India, travelling 
right across the country to its extremity, and extended his 

Lxxxvi. 2] 257 

dominion, as we learn from the Talmud. E. Jose said, 
' For six years he reigned in Elam, and afterwards spread 
his kingdom over the whole world.' He reigned altogether 
twelve years, and when he was on his way home to his 
house he died. Before his death, he divided his kingdom 
among his four chieftains. He made Ptolemy, the son of 
Lagi i^^iih), King of Egypt ; Phillipos his brother King 
of Macedon, and Seleucus and Nicanor Kings of Syria and 
Babylon respectively ; lastly, he made Antiochus, the great 
enemy of the Jews, King of Asia (n*^di;).' Daniel 
prophesied this event when he said that the goat would 
gore the ram and break down his kingdom, which would 
be given to the four winds of the heaven. 

LXXXVI. (1) When Seleucus reigned over Macedonia, a 
very wicked, rebellious man of our own people, Simeon of 
the tribe of Benjamin, went to Seleucus, and, slandering 
the Jews, informed him of the riches contained in the 
temple at Jerusalem, saying that the treasures were 
heaped up in the treasury in endless quantities, and an 
abundance of gold and precious stones, and that it would 
be preferable to have it all placed in the treasury of 
Seleucus. The king thereupon sent for Eliodorus, the 
captain of his host, and bade him go to Jerusalem with his 
armies. On his arrival, Honiah the priest said to him, 
' Why has my lord come to his servants ?' ' Because of 
the vast amount of gold and precious stones which, the 
king has been informed, is contained in the treasury of 
your temple.' ' The only gold in the treasury,' said the 
priest, ' is that which King Seleucus and other kings 
presented to us, for the maintenance of orphans, widows 
and the poor. For this, we pray to God to grant long life 
to the king and his sons.' 

(2) Eliodorus, however, would not listen to the priest, 
but placed guards round the temple until the following day, 
when the city was in great uproar through the lamenta- 
tion and cries of the people. The priests also called upon 
their God, and the old men and women and princes covered 
themselves with ashes and afflicted their souls with fasting. 


258 [LXXXVI. 3 

They withheld food from even the young, and milk from 
the sucklings. They cried to God to guard the treasury 
and the riches deposited therein. Even the young virgins 
spread out their hands through the windows of their 
houses, and besought the Lord for protection. And as to 
Honiah the priest, he afflicted his soul (by fasting), and 
having stripped himself of his garments of honour, clothed 
himself in sackcloth and ashes, for he was grief-stricken, 
and, from his appearance, one could imagine the sorrow 
that was in his heart. 

(3) On the next day the enemy came with all his hosts 
and went into the temple shouting, but the Lord caused 
a strong and mighty sound of thunder to be heard, to- 
gether with an earthquake, and a tempest that overthrew 
mountains and shattered rocks. On hearing this, all his 
troops took to flight, and hid themselves wherever they 
could, so that he (Eliodorus) remained alone, and, lifting 
up his eyes, he saw an awe-inspiring man clothed in gold, 
decked with precious stones, and girt with implements of 
war. He was riding a splendid horse, that was plunging 
and rearing, trotting and galloping in the temple. Helio- 
dorus immediately ran away, but the horse felled him to 
the ground, standing over him. The man then commanded 
his two young servants, clothed in white linen, with staves 
in their hands, to smite Eliodorus very severely ; and the 
two young men at his bidding stood one on each side of 
him, and beat him mercilessly until he became insensible 
and hovered between life and death. 

(4) Young priests came then, and lifting him on their 
shoulders, carried him into his tent and placed him in his 
bed, where he lay motionless and dumb. He could neither 
speak nor partake of any food. When the elders of Macedon 
saw him in this state, they came to Honiah the priest, and, 
crying, entreated him in the following manner, ' my lord, 
we beseech thee, pray for thy servant Eliodorus and all 
his servants who have come with him, that we may live and 
not die, for we know that there is no other God except 
yours, since all the gods of the nations are vanity and 

LXXXVII. 2] 259 

emptiness, whilst yours is the God that created the world, 
and in whose hand is the soul of every living being.' 

(5) The priest, then praying to God, offered up burnt- 
offerings and sacrifices, and the two young men that smote 
Eliodorus by the temple appeared to him and said, 'Arise, 
go to Honiah the priest, and bow down to his feet, since for 
his sake the Lord has had mercy upon thee.' Eliodorus 
accordingly arose, and, going to the priest, prostrated him- 
self, and blessing the Lord and the priest, gave much gold 
and silver to the treasury of the house of the Lord. Then 
hastening to Macedonia, he went to Seleucus the king, who 
asked, 'What of Jerusalem?' And Eliodorus replied, 'If 
thou hast any enemies that seek thy life, send them at once 
to Jerusalem, and let them go into the temple, where they 
will surely be killed, for the great God reigns in that place, 
and destroys all the enemies of Jerusalem and Judah.' He 
then told the king all that he had witnessed. And Seleucus 
no more sent his army to Jerusalem to do evil, but, on the 
contrary, every year until his death he sent a present to the 
temple, and the kings of the land loved to send their 
offerings to honour the temple at Jerusalem. 

LXXXVII. (1) Now, Ptolemy the Macedonian, who was 
made King of Egypt, was a wise and clever king, who 
delighted much in books. He, therefore, commanded his 
two officers to collect very many of them. The names 
of these princes were Aristios and Andrios. Having 
collected together many Median and Persian books, 
besides others in all kinds of languages, the king said to 
them, ' How many books have you obtained ?' ' Nine 
hundred and fifty,' they replied. Ptolemy laughed at this, 
and said, ' Go and add another fifty to make a thousand.' 

(2) But Aristios and Andrios replied, '0 my lord, it 
is in vain that we weary ourselves to obtain these books, 
since they are useless. Now, if it please the king, let him 
write to the priest at Jerusalem, and he will send thee some 
wise men of that place, conversant with the Greek language, 
who will explain to thee their law, which is the holy 
writing, but the books we have copied are of no use.' 


260 [LXXXVII. 3 

(3) Acting upon their advice, the king made such a 
request of the priest who was in those days, and the high 
priest sent him seventy priests with Eleazar as their 
chief, the same Eleazar who was afterwards tried during 
the reign of Antiochus, and who died a martyr's death for 
his God. 

(4) When Eleazar and these seventy priestly interpreters 
came to Egypt, Ptolemy, having put them in seventy 
different houses, one distinct from the other, provided each 
one with a scribe, and the priests interpreted the whole 
twenty-four books of the law, which these seventy elders 
then translated from Hebrew into Greek. As soon as it 
was finished, Eleazar brought the various copies to the 
king, who, after reading each one of them, found that they 
were all of one mind, and that the interpretations of all 
were identical. (5) The king was much rejoiced at this, 
and, presenting Eleazar and the seventy elders with much 
money, sent them back to Jerusalem. He further gave 
150,000 men of Judah their freedom, besides presenting 
them each with fifty drachmas of gold, and a table of pure 
gold weighing 1,000 talents for the temple. Upon it he 
engraved the land of Egypt, and the course of the river 
Nile in Egypt, by which the country is watered, and inlaid 
it with precious stones, so that the like of it had never been 
seen in all the land. This the King Ptolemy sent as a 
present to the temple of the great and awe-inspiring God 
of the whole world. 

(6) A long time after this, Antiochus was made King of 
Macedonia, while Ptolemy, King of Egypt, was gathered to 
his people, and another Ptolemy succeeded him. But 
Antiochus rose up against him, and having slain him, 
captured the whole land of Egypt, over which he reigned. 
(7) In those days fierce battles began to be fought against 
the people of Judah, for after Antiochus had smitten Egypt 
he became very proud, and issued a proclamation to every 
people, commanding them to bow down to the image of the 
king. And all the nations obeyed. But the godless men 
of our people, Menelaos, Simeon, Alkimos, and others, 

LXXXVIII. 2] 261 

incited Antiochus to do evil to the Israelites. At this time 
a great miracle was seen in Jerusalem. There were seen 
forty men riding between heaven and earth on what seemed 
like horses of fire. The riders carried in their hands 
partly golden implements of war, with which they fought 
one against the other for forty days. At this the wicked 
men of our people went to King Antiochus, and said, 
* Behold, we have seen a miracle in Jerusalem, and the 
people say that Antiochus the king is dead, and are 
rejoicing at the downfall of our lord.' (8) The king was 
greatly angered at this, and immediately went to Jerusalem 
and smote them with the edge of the sword, so that there 
was a great slaughter in the city. A great multitude were 
sent into exile, and the assembly of the Hassidim scattered. 
They fled to the forest, and fed upon the grass as animals, 
and hid themselves in the forest like wild beasts, for 
Antiochus was not satisfied with slaying many, but he sent 
many more into captivity, and when he left the land of 
Judah, he left his ofiicers to afilict the people, and he left 
Phillipos the Pelusian. They are Phrygians (nna ^D^psD), 
and so are also the Trojans (^J''nn), of whom the Eomans 
are descended. Phillipos belonged to that race. The king 
left him there to oppress the Israelites, commanding him 
thus, * Whoever is willing to bow down to the image I set 
up, and to eat of the flesh of the swine, shall live, but all 
who refuse shall be slain without mercy. Prohibit also this 
people from observing the Sabbath, and from circumcising 
their children.' 

LXXXVIII. (1) The king then returned to Macedonia, 
and, having left Phillipos in the land of Judah, he (PhilHp) 
acted according to the word of the king, and prohibited the 
people of Judah from studying the Torah and from per- 
forming the service of their God. He supported the wicked 
and the rebellious of our people, and slew many of the con- 
gregation of the Hassidim. 

(2) At that time two women were discovered who had 
circumcised their children. They hanged them by their 
breasts, and hurled them with their children from the top 

262 [LXXXVIII. 3 

of a tower ; they burst open and died. (3) After this Eleazar, 
the chief of the priests, of whom we have spoken as having 
gone to Egypt in the days of Ptolemy, was captured and 
brought to PhiUip. And Phillip said to him, 'Eleazar, 
thou art a wise man and a man of understanding, now, do 
not transgress the command of the king, but eat of the 
flesh of his sacrifice.' But Eleazar replied, ' Far be it 
from me to set aside the command of my God for the per- 
formance of the command of the king.' Then did Phillip 
call him aside and say, * Thou knowest that I have loved 
thee now for many years, therefore I have pity for thy soul 
and for thy old age. Now let a portion of the flesh of your 
own sacrifices which you are allowed to eat be brought to 
thee, and eat it before the people so that they will say thou 
eatest of the flesh of the king's sacrifice. By this means 
thou canst save thy life and not die.' 

(4) When Eleazar heard this he thought of the greatness 
of his honour and of the sanctity of his glory, and said to 
Phillip, ' I am now ninety years old, and have never yet 
served my God with deceit, nor is it meet for me now to 
do so and to deceive man, for then the young men will 
say, " Since Eleazar, although ninety years of age, has 
frustrated the law of his God, we can also do so," and they 
will thus bring destruction upon themselves. Now, far be 
it from me to defile my holiness, to taint the purity of my 
old age, and to cause these young men with me to waver, 
and give them the pretext for saying, " Eleazar, although 
ninety years of age, has sinned against his God, and has 
chosen to serve the vanities of the nations ; let us do like- 
wise." For even if I escape from your hands to-day, I 
cannot escape God, for no man can, either living or dead, 
since His dominion extends over the living to bring death 
upon them, and over the dead to quicken them to life. I 
shall therefore die true to my faith, and shall leave my 
power behind to my people and my young men, so that 
when they see me give up my life so readily, they will 
desire to follow my example, and thus keep their Torah 
precious, and will choose a worthy death.' 

Lxxxix. 2] 263 

(5) As soon, however, as Phillipos heard these words, he 
turned exceedingly cruel, and commanded his men to bind 
the pious old man and to beat him. They thereupon smote 
him with all manner of weapons without pity, and he 
groaned, saying, ' Lord my God, who hast caused me to 
reach this old age, Thou knowest that I was able to deliver 
my soul from such a death, but did not wish to do so on 
account of my love for Thee. Now they smite so cruelly 
and fiercely that I would not be able to bear it were it not 
for my fear of Thee, which renders them as nothing in my 
eyes, and I suffer them willingly.' While he was still 
speaking these words his life closed, and he left might to 
his people and power to his young men. 

LXXXIX. (1) Seven brothers with their mother wero 
then seized and sent to the king, for the king had not yet 
departed from Jerusalem, and because the swine's flesh was 
abhorred by the Jews and stank and was despised by them, 
therefore the cruelties against them were increased, and he 
tore their flesh as that of an ox. 

(2) When the flrst son was brought before the king, he 
said, ' Why waste words to teach us, for we have already 
been taught by our forefathers ? We are prepared to suffer 
death for the Lord and His law.' The king was furious at 
this, and, ordering a pan of brass to be brought, placed 
it on the fire. Then, ordering his tongue to be cut out, his 
hands and legs and the skin of his head to be cut off, he 
placed them all in the frying-pan in the sight of his 
brothers ; the rest of his body they cast in a large brass pot 
placed upon the hot coals. When he was near death the 
king commanded the fire to be removed from under the 
pot so that he should not die too quickly, so as to terrify 
his brothers and his mother. But they, on the contrary, 
encouraged each other and fortified each other when they 
saw that their brother gave up his life for the Lord and His 
Torah, and said to each other, * See what Moses, the servant 
of the Lord, said in his song, *' He shall be comforted in 
His servants." Even now the Lord is comforted in us for 
all the evil which He has purposed to do to His people, and 
He will have compassion upon them.' 

264 [LXXXIX. 3 

(3) As soon as the first died, the second brother was 
brought. They said to him, ' Listen to the command of 
the king. Why die in great torture as thy brother ?' And 
he repUed, ' Make haste with the sword and with the fire, 
and do not do one whit less to me than ye did to my 
brother, for I do not fall short of my brother in piety and 
the fear of God.' Every limb was then commanded to be 
cut off and placed in the frying-pan on the fire. He then 
said, ' Hear me, thou cruel king : art thou able to bind up 
these our souls which thou robbest us of ? Behold, they 
shall walk to God, who has given them to us — to the light 
that is with the Lord. We shall yet live a life that has no 
limit or end when He awakeneth the dead of His people 
and the slain of His servants.' 

(4) Thus died the second brother. When the third was 
brought, he looked at the king, and, stretching out his 
right hand towards the king, said, * What business of thine 
is it to destroy us, thou enemy and foe ? All this comes 
from Heaven, and we receive it with love, but thy tortures 
are despicable in our eyes, as nothing before us, since we 
expect honour and favour from Heaven. He will grant us 
the reward of our actions.' The king and all his princes 
were astonished at the bravery of the youth. 

(5) After his death the fourth brother was brought. 
* What,' said he, ' have I to do with thee, thou wicked 
man ? We die for the Lord, and He will again bring us 
back to life, but thou shalt never rise again.' 

(6) When the fifth was brought, he said, ' Do not imagine 
that God has forsaken us, for on account of His great love 
has He brought us to this honour. Thou reviler and blas- 
phemer, the Lord hates thee and stirs thee up to do unto 
us whatever thou wilt, but a great vengeance will be taken 
upon thee and thy seed, and His anger will be kindled 
against thee and all thy household.' 

(7) After his death the sixth brother was brought before 
the king, and he said, ' We know our wickedness, for we 
have sinned against the Lord, and now our souls are given 
over to death as an atonement for our people ; but now be- 

LXXXIX. 10] 265 

cause thy heart prompts thee to do this thmg to the servants 
of our God and to fight against God ; behold, He shall fight 
against thee and uproot thee from the face of the earth.' 

(8) The seventh and last brother was but a young lad, 
yet the mother, who had seen her seven sons slain on one 
day, neither feared nor trembled, but, standing upright by 
the corpses of her sons, she lifted up her voice and cried, 
saying, ' my son ! my son ! I do not know how you 
were formed in my womb, nor did I give you the breath 
and soul which you had, nor bring you out of my womb, 
nor raise you, nor make you grow, or your flesh which 
is now offered as a sacrifice ; God formed it. He wove the 
sinews and covered it with skin, and caused hair to grow 
upon it. He then breathed in your nostrils the breath of 
life. And since you give up all this for His sake, He will 
restore them to you, and will renew^ your body. He will 
give you the reward of your actions, and happy are ye, my 
sons, for all this.' 

(9) At this the king was very much taken aback, in that 
the woman had subdued him. ' Bring me the seventh 
one,' said he, ' and perhaps, as he is but a young lad, I 
may be able to entice him with soft words to do our will, 
but do not let this woman boast of me, saying, ' I have 
conquered King Antiochus in exhorting my sons to die for 
our God.' 

(10) According to the king's command, the seventh lad 
was brought, and the king implored him, and took an 
oath to enrich him with silver and gold, with cattle and 
many servants, to make him viceregent, and to let him 
rule over the whole kingdom. But when the lad despised 
the words of the king, the king summoned the mother to 
him, and said, ' good woman, have pity upon this child, 
and be merciful to the fruit of thy womb ; induce him to 
perform my will and to escape.' And the woman answered, 
' Give him to me, and I shall entice him with kind words.' 
This being done, she led him aside, and having kissed kim, 
and rejoiced at the king's shame and confusion, said, * 
my son, thou whom I carried in my womb for nine months. 

266 [Lxxxix. 11 

and whom I suckled for three years, after which I sustained 
thee with food until this very day, give up all this proffered 
honour, and fear the God of whom I taught thee. (11) Now, 
my son, look toward the heaven, and behold the land, 
the sea, the waters, and the fire, which by the word of the 
Lord were created. But man is merely flesh and blood and 
as nothing before Him. Do not fear this cruel man, but 
give up thy life for the sake of the Lord. Go the same 
way as thy brothers. Would that I could now see where 
thy brothers are, and the greatness of their glory before 
the Lord. My son, cleave to thy brothers, and thy lot 
shall be cast in their glory. I shall go there with you, and 
rejoice with you as on the days of your marriage. I shall 
be with you in your righteousness.' 

(12) While she was yet speaking the lad answered, and 
said, ' Why do you delay me, and will not leave me to go 
and join my holy brothers? I will not listen to the king, 
but to the law of our God, which He has given through 
the hand of Moses to the people of Israel, which this cruel 
enemy of God has put to shame and reviled. Woe unto 
thee, woe unto thee ! Whither wilt thou go ? whither wilt 
thou flee ? whither wilt thou run ? and where wilt thou 
hide thyself from our God, enemy, foe, and wicked man, 
for He still keeps us alive, and has glorified and exalted us 
over all nations? But thou who art insolent enough to 
stretch forth thy hand against His servants, it were better 
thou hadst not been born. Thou wicked fool Antiochus, 
who wast begotten of tainted folly, hast committed evil 
against thyself, but Thou hast done good unto us, and 
if we endure and bear these tortures in this world, 
we shall be taken to the life and light of the world where 
there is no darkness, but eternal life without death. 
(13) But thou wilt be the abomination of all creatures, 
and wilt be abhorred of our God when He takes vengeance 
upon thee. Thou shalt die an unnatural death, plagued 
with dreadful plagues. Thou shalt descend to the bottom 
of hell. Thou shalt be drawn into darkness, where there 
is no life or light, but darkness and shades ; where there 

XC. 3] 267 

is no repose or rest, but trouble, sorrow, brimstone, and 
fire. This will be thy portion of the Lord and thy lot 
from our God, man of blood and wicked man. But God 
will have mercy upon His people. Until now His wrath 
has rested upon us, but He will henceforth be angry no 
longer with His people, bat will repent of what He has 
done to us at the beginning, although He did so in truth 
and in righteousness, for w^e acted wickedly. He will 
return and have mercy upon us, and will grant us eternal 
life.' King Antiochus now became exceedingly angry 
because he would not perform his will, and therefore 
increased the tortures, and acted much more cruelly to 
him than he had done to the others. Thus died the 

(14) The mother then stood by the corpses of her sons, 
and, spreading out her hands, she said, ' exalted and 
aw^e-inspiring God, God of the universe, now will I come ; 
now will I die with my sons in the place which Thou hast 
prepared for them.' While she was yet speaking she 
finished her days upon earth, falling upon the dead bodies 
of her sons, her spirit went forth, and she died with them. 

XC. (1) The king then went on his way to Macedon, 
and commanded Phillip and the captains whom he had left 
in the land of Judah, saying, ' Blot out the very memory 
of Judah from the face of the earth, and let him who but 
mentions the name " Jew " be slain ; but let all those live 
who are willing to be assimilated with our people, and be 
called " Javan." ' (2) Accordingly Phillip and the captains 
with him destroyed all whom he discovered observing the 
Torah, with the exception of those who fled with Mattathiah, 
the son of Jochanan to Mod'aith. For Mattathiah would 
not bear the reproach of the uncircumcised, but was zealous 
for his God, and, weeping, he said, ' Woe unto me, my 
mother, that thou didst give me birth to behold the breach 
of my people.' 

(3) Then he sent his son Judah secretly to say to the 
Jews, ' Whoever of you are on the side of the Lord, come 
to me.' There gathered unto him a 'large assembly of 

268 [xc. 4 

Hassidim, and Mattathiah addressed them in the follow- 
ing words, ' Why multiply words ? The only thing that 
remains for us to do is to pray and to fight. Let us 
strengthen ourselves and die in battle, but not as sheep 
led to slaughter.' When they heard these words they all 
of them took courage (braced themselves up), and said each 
one to his neighbour, ' To thy tent, Judah. Eule again 
over thine own land. It is enough, King Antiochus. Now 
sharpen thy sword, people of Judah, and beware of thy 
life, nation of Macedon.' From that day the Macedonian 
yoke was broken asunder from the shoulders of Judah. 

(4) When Phillip and the chiefs of the king heard these 
words they went against them with a large army. When 
they were going against them, they found on the way men, 
women, and children of Judah in a cave all observing 
the Sabbath. Coming to the entrance of the cave, they 
said to them, ' Come out and profane the Sabbath, and 
perform the command of the king and live, and do not 
allow yourselves to die.' But they said, * We shall not 
come out nor shall we profane the Sabbath day. Let the 
heavens and the earth be witness that we die in our 
integrity.' Phillip then commanded fire to be brought and 
placed at the mouth of the cave. Then, placing some wood 
upon it, he filled the cave with smoke, so that they were all 

(5) The chiefs of the king then marched upon Matta- 
thiah, to the mount of Mod'aith, and found him, his sons, 
his brothers, and a few of his people of the assembly of 
the Hassidim fully armed for war, for they had brought 
their wives and children to that mountain. The chiefs of 
the king approached Mattathiah with words of peace, saying, 
* honoured among thy people, perform the command of 
the king and live and do not die.' (6) But Mattathiah 
answered very proudly, saying, ' I obey the command of 
my King ; do you obey the command of yours.' At this 
the chiefs were confused, and, being silent, did not say 
another word ; for they wondered at Mattathiah, and were 
thinking how they could capture and slay him as they had 

XCI. 1] 269 

slain the other pious men. (7) But suddenly one of the rene- 
gade Jews among the chiefs of the king said, ' I am aston- 
ished at the chiefs of the king and his army. How long 
will ye hold your peace and not perform the command of 
the king by rising up against Mattathiah, w^ho was insolent 
enough to refuse to obey the king's command ?' And 
after he had spoken thus he unsheathed his sword, and, 
cutting off the head of a swine, he took it in his hand and 
carried it to the altar which they had built to sacrifice to 
the king's vanities. Then, placing the head of the swine 
upon the altar, he offered it with frankincense to the idols 
of Antiochus. (8) When Mattathiah beheld this he was 
exceedingly wroth, and his fury burnt within him. Then, 
drawing his sword, he leaped upon the sacrificing Jew, 
and, severing his head from his body, he held it up on 
high before the chief of the king who approached Matta- 
thiah, while the body fell down from the altar upon which 
he stood. He also killed the king's chief, and put the 
rest of them to flight, levelling to the ground a number of 
the crowd. Then, sounding the Shofar, he gave the signal 
for war. (9) He was the first one to raise his hand against 
the Macedonian kingdom. He also commanded us to 
fight on the Sabbath, and he will stand by us to defend 
us in this matter. It is written in the book of Joseph ben 
Gorion the priest. (10) Mattathiah with his sons and 
brothers then marched forth, and with them a large band 
of the Hassidim. They pursued those who had hidden 
themselves, and smote and discomfited them, until there 
did not remain one in the whole land of Judah. They then 
circumcised their sons. Thus, great salvation was brought 
about by the Lord through Mattathiah. 

XCI. (1) Now, the days of Mattathiah were drawing to a 
close, so, calling his five sons to his bedside, he encouraged 
them and exhorted them, saying, ' I know that now fierce 
battles will be waged in the land of Judah, since we have 
been stirred up to fight for our people. Now, my sons, 
be zealous for your God, for His sanctuary, and for His 
people. Fight, and do not be afraid of death ; if you die 

270 [XCI. 2 

in battle, you will be received among your brethren, and 
their portion shall be shared with you, for to all our 
ancestors who have been zealous for God, God has given 
honour and favour. Did not our ancestor Pinehas receive 
the everlasting covenant, and did not our other ancestors 
who were zealous for the Lord receive their reward from the 
Lord ?' (2) Then, addressing Simeon his son, he said, ' I 
know the wisdom that God has put in thy heart ; withhold 
not, then, thy counsel from this people, and be to thy 
brethren as a father, and they shall hearken to thee and to 
all thy counsels, since our God has given thee might and 
wisdom.' (3) Next Mattathiah called his son Judah, who 
came and stood before him ; and he said, ' my son Judah, 
who art called Maccabee (^''2Da) on account of thy power, 
I know, my son, that thou art a man of war, and that God 
has given thee strength and might, and a heart like a lion's 
that flees from nothing. Now, my son, honour the Lord 
with all the strength the Lord hath granted thee ; fight 
His battles without stopping ; do not be reluctant to 
travel the four corners of the land — east, west, south and 
north — to capture the country from the power of the 
uncircumcised ; be to them the captain of their host and 
the anointed of battle.' Then, bringing out a horn of 
oil, he poured it upon his head, and thus anointed him for 
battle, while all the people raised a shout, and, blowing 
upon their trumpets, exclaimed, 'Long live the anointed!' 
(4) When he had finished his exhortation to his sons, he died 
and was gathered to his people, and Judah his son, sur- 
named Maccabee, arose in his place. He had the assistance 
of his brothers, his father's household, and all the assembly 
of the Hassidim. And Judah was glad to fight the battles 
of Israel. Having clothed himself in a coat of mail as a 
warrior, and equipped himself with the implements of war, 
he looked like one of the sons of Anak. He protected the 
camp of Israel with his sword, and, pursuing the enemy, 
he crushed out their life. He burnt the sinners with the 
fire of his mouth, confounded the wicked with terror, and 
confused all the evil-doers through fear of him, for he 

xcii. 2] 271 

appeared to them just as a roaring lion seeking prey appears 
to cattle. Jacob rejoiced at his deeds and was glad at his 
actions, for he confounded great kings, so that his name 
rang from one end of the world to the other, and people con- 
tinually spoke of the wars he waged. Blessed be his name 
among the people of Israel ; peace and repose be upon his 
righteous couch, and blessing on his holy bed, for he has 
not withheld his soul from death to defend Israel, God's 
people, and has slain all the wicked of the people of Judah 
who led the Israelites astray. 

XCII. (1) When Apolonius, the captain of the Mace- 
donian host, heard these things, he said, ' Who is it 
that dared to rebel against our lord the king ?' And 
he gathered unto him a large and strong multitude of 
Macedonian warriors, and marched forwards to fight 
against Israel. Judah went out to meet him, and a very 
fierce battle ensued between the Macedonians and the 
assembly of the Hassidim. During the battle Judah saw 
Apolonius standing in the midst of the Macedonian 
company, and ran towards him in the fury of his anger 
into the valley, and, smiting right and left and in front of 
him, he cut down the mighty men of Greece just as the 
reaper cuts down the sheaves and the corn of his harvest. 
Then, approaching Apolonius, he smote him with the edge 
of the sword and felled him to the ground. Then, putting 
the Greeks and Macedonians to flight, they fled in haste, 
and Judah and the assembly of the Hassidim pursued 
them and smote them with a very great slaughter, and, 
having taken their spoil, Judah seized Apolonius's sword 
and fought with it all his life. (2) When Seron (I'li^p), 
the captain of the host of Syria, heard this he said, 
* I will go and fight against Judah, and thus make a 
name for myself.' Then, summoning all his people, he 
went to Beth-Horon. Judah, becoming aware of this, said 
to his men, ' There is no time for delay ; let us go out to 
them, although our brethren the Hassidim have gone away 
from us ; for if we wait until they return, our enemies will 
say we are afraid of them.' Therefore Judah marched all 

272 [XCII. 3 

the night long ; at daybreak, when the people suddenly 
beheld in the distance a strong and mighty army, they said 
to Judah, ' How can we who are so few go to war against 
this great multitude ?' But Judah replied, ' Cry unto 
heaven, and ye shall be saved, for the battle is in the hands 
of the Lord to deliver the many into the hands of the few ; 
it is in His power to save either with a multitude or with 
a few.' (3) Judah then went sideways near the enemy's 
camp, and suddenly leaping upon them, he struck terror 
into them, and thereby Seron with all his men were put in 
confusion. Judah pursued him, and, overtaking him, 
smote him. On that day as many as 800 corpses of the 
Syrians were found piled up in heaps on the field. Those 
that remained fled into the land of the Philistines, and the 
fear of Judah fell upon all the nations. 

(4) Now, as soon as Antiochus heard these things, he was 
very much vexed, and gathering together all his people 
and all the nations under his rule, mustered a strong and 
mighty army, and divided it into two portions. With one 
half he went to (Persia), for the Persians had revolted from 
the Macedonian rule when they saw that the people of 
Judah had rebelled. The other half he handed over to 
Lysias (ni<^D^'?), of his own kin, and of royal Macedonian 
descent, saying to him, ' Thou knowest all that Judah, the 
son of Mattathiah, has done to my two chiefs, Apolonius 
and Seron, and to all their host. Therefore, go now and 
smite all the inhabitants of Judah, and my son Eopator 
(-I'lDS'i^^i-J) will go with thee. I myself will go to Persia 
and uproot the nation that rebelled against me.' 

(5) Accordingly, Antiochus the king went to Persia, and 
left Lysias in command to wage war against Judah and look 
after his son. Lysias chose for himself Tolmios (D^^^rD^in), 
who is Ptolemy, Nicanor, and Gorgias, men of valour, send- 
ing with them 40,000 young warriors on foot and 7,000 
horsemen, and the entire armies of both Syria and Philistia 
joined them in marching against Judah to destroy it. 
When Judah and all the elders of Israel heard this they 
proclaimed a fast, and clothed themselves in sackcloth, and 

xciil. 1] 273 

placing dust upon their heads, cried unto the Lord. (6) After 
the fast Judah numbered his people, and appointed over 
them captains of thousands, captains of hundreds, captains 
of fifties, and captains of tens. Then marching into the 
field, he issued an order in the camp, saying, * Whoever 
has planted a vineyard or built a house, and whoever is 
betrothed or faint-hearted, let him return home ;' and many 
of them returned. There thus remained 7,000 valiant 
men, chosen warriors, of whom one would not have run 
away before a hundred enemies. 

(7) Judah then marched on to meet Nicanor, who had 
brought many merchants with him, for he intended to sell 
to them the young men and the young women whom he 
would capture and carry into captivity from Judah. He 
went into the valley to meet Judah. Judah, coming out of 
the assembly of the Hassidim who were with him, called 
upon the Lord, saying, ' exalted God, who hast ruled 
from the creation until this time, who causeth battles to 
cease, and in whose hands is power and might to exalt or 
to humble, subdue and humble this nation before the lowly 
of Thy people, for Thou wilt subdue nations under us 
and peoples under our feet.' After his prayer, the priests 
blew their holy trumpets, and all the people raised a shout. 
Then did Judah leap into battle, and smote the camp of 
Nicanor with heavy slaughter, so that they fled before him. 
Pursuing them with his army, he continued to slay them 
in their flight. The number of the slain was 9,000. They 
then returned and took their spoil, and the gold w^hich 
the merchants had brought with them to purchase the 
Israelitish youths. This they distributed among the poor, 
and then rested in that place, for the battle was fought on 
the sixth day. 

XCIIL (1) Departing thence, Judah went to Bakires 
(D^on) and Timothios, and a severe battle ensued be- 
tween them, in which he himself killed on that day twenty 
Macedonian warriors. Bakires and Timothios took to 
flight, and Judah pursued them, but did not overtake 
them, for they went to Ashtaroth Karnaim. But he 


274 [XCIII. 2 

captured Phillipio, the man who had done so much evil in 
Judah. When Judah approached him he turned from the 
way he was going into a house in the vicinity. Judah 
then ordered his men to overthrow the house upon him, 
and to burn him to death in that place. He thus avenged 
the death of Eleazar and the blood of those pious men 
which Phillipio had shed. They then returned to strip the 
slain and they sent the spoil to Jerusalem. (2) Nicanor 
fled thence and escaped, for he had stripped himself of his 
purple coat, and dressed himself in a poor man's coat, so 
that he could not be recognised. In this way he came to 
Macedon and related to Lysias all that had happened. 

(3) At that time King Antiochus returned from Persia, 
ashamed in that the Persians had made him flee the 
country of Ecbatana, and when he was informed of all 
Judah had done to his chiefs, and how he had smitten 
them, he was filled with wrath and fury. He reviled and 
blasphemed, and said, ' I will go to Jerusalem, and make it 
a burial-ground, and will fill it with the carcasses of the 
slain.' He then summoned together all his people, his 
charioteers and horsemen, a large and mighty multitude. 
(4) But the Lord had a jealous care for His people, for 
His city, and His temple, and remembering all the evil 
Antiochus did to His people. He required the blood of 
those pious men from Antiochus, and therefore plagued him 
with boils and with an internal disease. Yet he was not 
humbled through this, but said, ' Press on, ye charioteers ; 
press on, ye horsemen ; press on, ye soldiers. I will go to 
Jerusalem, and will carry out my intention, for who can 
stand before me ? Is not the sea and the dry land mine, 
to change their being according to my will ? Can I not 
transform the earth into sea and the sea into earth ?' 
When he had finished speaking thus he mounted his 
chariot, and went with his huge army in the direction of 
Jerusalem. With him were many elephants, and his camp 
was enormous. 

(5) Now, while on the journey, his chariot happened to 
pass in front of one of the elephants, and it trumpeted. 

xciv. 1] 275 

At this the horses took fright, and slipping down, over- 
turned the chariot, and threw Antiochus out of it. As a 
result of the fall, his bones were broken, for he was a stout 
and very heavy man. The Lord, however, heaped up 
plagues upon him, and his flesh stank. The stench of his 
body was like that of a dead man cast upon the field in the 
height of the summer. As soon as his servants lifted him 
upon their shoulders, they had to cast him back again to 
the ground and run away, for they could not possibly 
approach him or carry him on account of the dreadful 
stench of the flesh of that reviler, and blasphemer, and 
enemy of God. (6) Now, when his army became weary, 
and he also became sick unto death of the stench arising 
froD2 his body, he knew then that the hand of the Lord 
had touched him, and being humbled and made lowly, he 
exclaimed, ' The Lord is righteous, who humbleth the 
proud and humiliates the wicked like me, for I have done 
all this wickedness to His people and to His pious men. 
It is for this that all these evils have overtaken me.' He 
then made a vow, saying, ' If the Lord will heal me from 
this disease, I will go to Jerusalem and fill it with silver and 
gold ; I will spread carpets of purple in all the streets, and 
will give all my treasury to the temple of the great God. 
I will circumcise my foreskin, and will go about the whole 
land exclaiming in a loud voice, ' There is no God in the 
whole world like the God of Israel.' 

(7) But the Lord did not hearken to his prayer, nor did 
He give ear to him, for all the way Antiochus the Cruel 
was travelling his flesh fell off from his bones, until finally 
his very bowels fell out upon the ground. Thus his life 
came to an end. He died in shame and disgrace and in a 
strange land. Eopator, his son, succeeded him. 

XCIV. (1) Judah, the son of Mattathias, and with him 
the assembly of the Hassidim, now went up to Jerusalem, 
and overthrowing the altars which the uncircumcised had 
built, they cleansed the temple of the abominations of the 
nations, and building a new altar, they placed upon it the 
flesh of the sacrifice, and arranged the wood, but the holy 


276 [xciv. 2 

fire they could not find. Then calhng in prayer upon the 
Lord, fire came forth from a stone upon the altar, and 
they placed the wood upon it. This fire remained with 
them until the time of the third captivity. On the 25th of 
Kislev they dedicated the altar, and placing the showbread 
in its place and kindling the lights, they praised the name 
of the Lord by reading the ' Hallel Psalms ' for eight days. 

(2) After this dedication, Judah marched to the land of 
Edom, and Gorgias came to meet him with a huge multi- 
tude of men, but Judah smote Gorgias and his camp, and 
put them all to flight. Pursuing them, Judah' s men left 
upon the field 20,000 of the enemy slain. Gorgias then 
fled to Arabia to Timotheos. And Timotheos, marching 
out with 120,000 men of the Macedonian and Arabian 
armies, went into the land of Gad and Gilead, and slew 
many of the Jews, so that they sent a letter to Judah, 
saying, ' Come up and save us, for the sword of Timotheos 
is consuming us.' Again another letter arrived, saying, 
' The sword of Tyre and Sidon is destroying us, and the 
men of Macedonia who dwell there.' (3) As soon as Judah 
heard these words, he cried to the Lord in fasting and 
prayer, and selecting all the valiant men and the Hassi- 
dim, he made haste to pass the Jordan. Simeon also took 
with him 3,000 men of Judah, and hastening to Galilee, 
engaged in a fierce battle, in which he slew 8,000 men, 
and thus delivered his brethren in Galilee. Then, taking 
the spoil of the slain, he returned to Jerusalem. 

(4) Judah the Anointed one of battle, having passed the 
Jordan, arrived at Gilead, where they found Timotheos 
attacking the city on Mount Gilead, and, having girded 
himself for the fray, a fierce battle ensued. The two 
armies stood opposite each other, that of Timotheos being 
mighty and strong, while Judah's army was few in number. 
And in the midst of the fight Judah cried unto the Lord, 
when he suddenly beheld five young horsemen, clothed in 
gold. Two of them stood in front of Judah, and then, 
placing themselves one on each side of him, protected him 
with their shields, while the other three fought against the 

XCIV. 7] 277 

camp of Timotheos. As soon as Judah saw them, he at 
once knew that they were sent from heaven to assist the 
pious, and, encouraging his men, he pressed hard upon 
Timotheos's army and smote 20,500 of his men. Timo- 
theos himself and his army fled thence towards the Jordan, 
but Judah was after him, making havoc among them all 
the time until they came to Aza. 

(5) Here Timotheos recruited his men and prepared 
again for battle, for the whole army of Philistia had now 
joined his ranks. When Judah arrived at that place he 
leaped upon them as a lion upon a flock of sheep. Timo- 
theos took to flight, and his whole army w^as scattered in 
confusion. The Hasmoneans pursued them and cut them 
to pieces until there were none left. Timotheos fled to 
Aza, and there took refuge within the closed gates of the 
city, from the high walls of which he still gave battle. 
For five days Judah and his men besieged it. 

(6) On the fifth day the men of Timotheos, ascending 
the high tower, cursed and defied the Anointed one of 
battle, and taunted them all with words of insolence. At 
length twenty Hasmoneans, becoming heated through 
passion on account of the reproaches, took their shields 
in their left hands and their swords in their right hands, 
and, running towards the wall, scaled it one after another 
by means of a ladder. Then, smiting those upon the wall, 
they made room for their fellows, all of whom likewise 
scaled the wall. The twenty men then went into the 
market-place of the city, shouting and killing many of the 
enemy. Then, going towards the gate, they attacked it 
within, while the whole army of the Hasmoneans ap- 
proached it from without, and set fire to it, whereupon the 
gate fell to the ground. In this manner was the city of Aza 
captured. Then, seizing the men who defied the Anointed 
one of battle, they burnt them to death, and put the 
inhabitants to the edge of the sword. For two whole days 
they did not cease from their deadly work of slaughter. 

(7) Timotheos, fleeing, hid himself in one of the pits 
and could not be found. But they discovered his brothers, 

278 [xcv. 1 

Birean (|!?^0'?) and Apollopanis (D''J2i'?iqn*), and brought 
them to Judah, who ordered then- heads to be cut off. 
The spoil of the cit}^ they carried to Jerusalem with songs, 
praises and thanksgivings, and sang the Psalms of David, 
King of Israel, to the Lord, whose mercy endureth for ever. 
XCV. (1) Now, when it came to the ear of Antiochus 
Eopator, son of Antiochus called Epiphanes, who had 
wrought such evil in Jerusalem, who slew the pious men, 
and who ultimately died from the severe plagues inflicted 
upon him, as we have stated above, (2) this Antiochus 
Eopator sent Lysias, his cousin, with an army of 80,000 
horsemen and eighty elephants, a mighty army. They 
came to Judah and Jerusalem and gave battle at Bethter 
(inn^n) ; building a ditch round about the city, he began to 
attack the city with a battering-ram and with stones, while 
Judah and the whole army of the Hasmoneans dwelt in the 
forests and on the mountains away from the Greek army. 
Judah said to his men, ' Come, let us approach the Lord 
our God in fasting and in supplication, and then let us 
march against the Greek army of Javan, who are attacking 

(3) After the fast he blew the Shofar, and then gave the 
signal for battle, and he and all his men went to assist their 
brethren in Bethter. When they came to Jerusalem they 
entered the temple, offered peace-offerings, sacrificed burnt- 
offerings, and cried to the Lord. Then, departing from 
Jerusalem to go to Bethter to the Macedonian camp, Judah 
said to his men, ' Be strong and of good cheer ; for the 
people of the Lord and for our brethren, let us rather 
perish together in the fight than see any evil fall upon our 

(4) When he had finished speaking, he lifted up his eyes 
and beheld between heaven and earth a man, well dressed, 
riding upon a horse like a flame of fire, and in his hand a 
spear. His back was turned towards the Hasmoneans and 
his face to the camp of the Greeks, with his hand stretched 
out ready to smite it. Judah then exclaimed, ' Blessed be 
He who has sent His messenger to save His people and to 

xcv. 7] 279 

smite the camp of His enemies.' Hastening thence, they 
went to Bethter, and, springing upon the Macedonian camp, 
they put them into confusion, and slaughtered 11,000 foot 
and 1,600 horsemen. Lysias and his men fled for their 
lives in shame and disorder, and Lysias then knowing that 
God was fighting against the enemies of Israel, made a 
covenant with Judah. 

(5) The following is the letter which Lysias sent to the 
people of Judah : 

* Lysias, chief of the king's army and vicegerent of 
Antiochus, to Judah the Anointed of battle and to all his 
people be there greeting ! Be it known to you that I have 
received letters you sent through your messengers, 
Johanan and Absalom, and that I have carried out whatever 
they told me. I read the letter with good feeling and have 
fulfilled everything contained therein. I have told the 
king the message on your behalf, and have given answer 
to Johanan and Absalom. I have further charged the 
messengers I sent to you with words of peace.' 

(6) This is the contents of the letter which the king sent 
to Lysias, his cousin : 

' King Antiochus to Lysias my brother greeting ! Be it 
known to thee that we have received the letter thou didst 
send us concerning the Jews, and that we have read it 
with every good feeling. My father has gone the way of 
all flesh, he has ceased to be with men and has been 
taken with angels ; but I seek for the welfare of all my 
kingdom, to stop wars, and to establish peace. I have 
heard that the Jews refused to listen to my father to violate 
their law, and that they have therefore conquered by the 
sword and slain the chief men and the most honoured of 
my father's kingdom. Now give them thy right hand, and 
make a covenant with them that they may know it to be 
my will and my hearty desire that they live in peace and 
observe their law according to their own wish.' 

(7) And this is the contents of the letter which the king 

280 [XCVI. 1 

sent to Judah : ' King Antiochus Eopator to Judah the 
Anointed one of battle and to the rest of the people greeting ! 
Be it known to you that I have issued a decree throughout 
all my cities and to all the peoples subjected to my rule, 
that they should not oppress the Jews, but leave them to 
keep and to observe your law. Pardon whatever actions 
my father erringiy did, and if we have also erred we send 
you Menelaos to speak to you words of peace.' 

XCVI. (1) In those days the Lord began to render the 
fourth kingdom more powerful than the third, that is the 
kingdom of Eome, which was stirred up against the 
kingdom of Greece. The name of the Koman was 
exalted over all the empires of the world. That was the 
fourth animal which Daniel, that greatly-beloved man, saw 
in a vision. Just as that animal devoured, crushed and 
trampled upon everything, so did this nation of Eomans 
devour and crush all the other nations. It was they who 
fought with Antiochus, King of Greece, his 120 elephants 
and a strong and powerful army of infantry and cavalry, 
whom they conquered in the battle, and compelled to pay 
the Eomans tribute. 

(2) They also humbled the pride of Annibal, King of 
Africa, who reigned over the city whose name was 
Carthagene. Annibal entered the field with an army as 
mighty and as numerous as the sand upon the seashore. 
With him were all the armies of Ethiopia, Phut and Lud, 
and other mighty nations. Having crossed the narrow sea 
between Africa and Sefarad, he humbled the pride of the 
nation of the Goths (DiniJ). Journeying thence, he arrived 
in the land of Germania by the sea Oceanus. Thence he 
came to Italy and engaged in battle with the Eomans, who 
went out to meet him. It was a long and fierce contest, in 
which the Eomans were utterly routed. 

(3) The Eomans, however, continued to fight, and in 
ten years no less than eighteen battles were fought with 
Annibal, but they could make no stand before him. At 
length, they again mustered all their warriors, at the head 

XCVI. 7] 281 

of whom were two valiant men, ^milius and Varros. 
Having arranged their men in Kne of battle by the river 
Eopiros (on^siNS), the battle was fought at Canusi (^Di::p), 
a large city. Here a fierce and desperate battle was fought, 
in which 90,000 Komans met their death. (4) Among 
them was iEmilius, one of the Eoman commanders. 
Varros (onn), however, managed to escape to Venosia 
(nx^Dija), a city situated between the mountains and the 
plain. Of Annibal's men, 40,000 were killed in that battle. 
Having pursued the Romans up to the gates of the city, he 
besieged the city for eight days, and building turrets in 
front of the city, fought against it. 

(5) Then the Roman counsellors said to each other, 
* Let us open the gate and come and make a covenant with 
Annibal, that we may live and not be put to death.' This 
they determined to do, when a young man, whose name 
was Scipios (d^N'-D''^), arose, and said to the 320 counsellors 
of the city, ' Far be it from us to subject ourselves to 
Annibal.' 'But what can we do,' answered they, 'since 
we have not been able to make a stand before Annibal for 
the last eighteen years?' 'Then,' said Scipio, 'come, let 
us take counsel. Give me about five legions of men, and I 
will go to the land of Africa and attack and destroy his 
land. As soon as Annibal hears this, he will hasten away 
from Rome to deliver his own land from my hands, and 
thus will ye obtain rest.' 

(6) Having consented to his proposal, he took with him 
30,000 Romans, and marching to Africa, the country of 
Annibal, he engaged in battle, in which Astrubal, 
Annibal's brother, was slain. Scipio cut ofi' his head and 
brought it to Rome, and, mounting the wall, he cried out to 
Annibal, ' Why art thou so eager for our land, and dost 
not go to deliver thy own land from my hands, which I am 
destroying?' He then sent Annibal his brother's head. 
When he recognised it he braced himself up, and hardening 
his heart, swore not to leave the city until he had taken it, 
and he besieged it for several days more. 

(7) Scipio then returned to Africa and entirely destroyed 

282 [xcvi. 8 

it. Thence he went to Carthagene and besieged it. And the 
men of Carthagene sent Annibal a letter to Kome, saying, 
' Why dost thoa desire a strange land, when thine own land 
is taken from thee? If thou wilt not hasten here and 
deliver us from the hand of Scipio, we shall open the gate 
and give the city of Carthagene with thy palace into his 
hands.' (8) When he read this letter he wept, and 
immediately raised the siege, and going to Epirus, where 
lay his ships, he slew there Komans without number, men, 
women and children who were taken prisoners. He then 
went to Africa with all his army. (9) But Scipio went out 
to meet him, and a fierce war ensued between them, in 
which Annibal was conquered and about 50,000 of his 
men slain. He was likewise conquered in three pitched 
battles with Scipio. After that Annibal fled to Egypt, 
but Scipio followed him, and Ptolemy the king delivered 
him into Scipio' s hands. He was brought to Africa in 
great honour, and there he drank poison and died and was 
buried. Scipio then captured the whole land of Africa, 
and the place that abounds in gold and silver. Thus 
Piome was exalted above all the other nations. 

XCVn. (1) The following is the contents of the letter 
which the Piomans sent to Judah, the son of Mattathiah : 

' Qinsius Minios, Scipio and Menelaos, princes of Eome, 
to Judah the Anointed one of battle, and to the elders 
of Judah greeting to you ! for we have heard of your power 
and of your battles, and are glad, also of what Antiochus 
and Lysias have given you, and of what they wrote 
concerning the Jews. Now we also write to ask you 
whether you will become our associates and friends, but 
not the friends of the Greeks, who have afflicted you. We 
are now going to war against Antiochia, therefore hasten 
to let us know who are your enemies and who your 

(2) The following is the text of the covenant made 
between the Komans and the Jews : 

' Whether on the sea or on land, whenever war is 

XCVII. 5] 283 

declared against the Eomans, the Jews are to assist them 
with all their power. They are not to supply Kome's 
enemies with either implements of war, with wheat or 
any other food, according to the decree of the Consul and 
the 320 counsellors. A.nd if, on the other hand, war be 
declared against the Jews, the Eomans in their turn are to 
assist the Jews with all their power, and are not to provide 
the enemies of the Jews with either implements of war, or 
wheat or food of any kind. They should themselves not 
take any food from them unless in trouble. Further, 
neither party is to add or to diminish what had been 
decreed by the Consul and the 320 counsellors.' 

After that the land had rest for about eight months. At 
that time Judah began to judge his people, and to weed out 
the wicked from his people. 

(3) At that time the Jews lived in all the cities on the 
sea-coast, extending from Aza until Acco; but the 
Macedonian nation and the people of Joppa and Jabneh 
brought about great evil, for they induced the Jews living 
among them to board their ships, together with their wives 
and children, to go and have sports on the sea. The Jews, 
trusting them, consented to go wdth them, but when they 
arrived in mid-ocean they were thrown into the water and 
drowned, to the number of 200 souls. 

(4) When Judah was informed of it he wept and 
proclaimed a fast. Then, hastening to Joppa, he besieged 
it, and God delivered it into his hands After separating the 
Jews, he smote the city with the edge of the sword, man, 
woman, child and suckling, and burnt the city to the 
ground. The same he did to Jabneh, besides burning the 
ships of both cities. The burning and conflagration could 
be seen as far as Jerusalem, a distance of 240 stadia. He 
thus avenged the blood of the women and children that 
were drowned in the sea. Journeying thence, he went 
to the Arabian desert, and having smitten many Arabs, 
imposed a tribute upon them. 

(5) He then returned to the land of . . . and during 

•284 [xcvii. 6 

the journey had to pass a certain city by name Kaspon 
(psDD). It was very strongly fortified, for nations of all 
kinds dwelt therein. Eelying upon their strongholds, 
they cursed Judah, and uttered countless slanders about 
Judah's people. At this Judah exclaimed, ' Almighty 
God, at the sound of the trumpet Thou didst deliver the 
city of Jericho by the hands of Thy servant Joshua ; 
now deliver this city into our hands, that I may avenge 
the reproach they have cast upon the people of God.' 
(6) Then, taking his shield in his left hand and unsheath- 
ing his sword, he marched bravely onwards, followed by the 
Hasmoneans, at a very quick pace until they reached the 
gate of the city. After besmearing it with pitch, and 
placing bushes and thorns of the desert upon it, they set 
fire to it and it fell to the ground. God delivered the city 
into his hands, and he effected a slaughter such as has 
never yet been known, for the pool of blood which flowed 
from the city as a pool of water was two stadia in length 
and two in breadth. 

(7) Journeying from that place, he travelled a distance of 
750 stadia. And Timotheos came out to meet him with 
120,000 foot and 1,000 horse. After offering up his sup- 
plication to God, Judah marched out against Timotheos 
with about 10,000 chosen men. A very fierce battle 
ensued, in which Judah slaughtered 30,000 of Timotheos's 
army. Timotheos forthwith tried to escape, but Dostios 
(Dositheus), the captain of Judah's army, and Sosipater, a 
gallant warrior of Israel, pursued him and brought him 
back to Judah, who ordered his head to be cut off. But 
Timotheos wept bitterly, and implored him, saying, ' my 
lord Judah, do not kill me, for there are many Jews 
dwelling in my land, and I swear that I will do good to 
them all the days of my life.' And he took an oath. Judah 
had pity upon him and did not kill him, but allowed him 
to go his way, and Timotheos did no more evil to the Jews 
all the days of his life, for he kept the oath he had taken. 

(8) Journeying thence, Judah marched in the direction 
of the wilderness, and, meeting the army of the king that 

XCVIII. 2] 285 

had come into Arabia, he smote them, and, pursuing them 
further, slew 25,000 of their men. He next journeyed 
to Ephron, a large city, and besieged it, and the Lord 
delivered it into his hands. He slew 20,000 in the contest. 

(9) Marching onwards a journey of 600 stadia, he came 
to a city the name of which was Scitopolis (d^'pidid^::*) ; and 
the inhabitants of Scitopohs being sorely afraid of them, 
came out to meet them with entreaties and tears, saying, 
' lord, the Anointed one of battle, do thou, I pray thee, ask 
the Jews who dwell in our midst whether we have treated 
them kindly or not. Moreover, in the time of the cruel 
Antiochus many Jews made their escape to us and we 
maintained them.' To the truth of this the Jews among 
them testified. As soon as Judah heard this he blessed 
them, and desisted from attacking them, and he returned 
to Jerusalem, arriving there three days before the festival 
of Pentecost. 

XCVni. (1) When the festival was at an end he marched 
out to Gorgios, the captain of the army of Edom, with 
3,000 foot and 4,000 horse. A fierce battle took place 
between their two armies, in which some Hasmoneans 
were slain, and among them was Dostios, the captain of 
the host, who was sorely wounded on the shoulders ; some 
of the Hasmonean warriors were nearly thrown back. 
When Judah realized what had happened, he then prayed 
to the Lord, and, encouraging his men, leaped forward into 
the camp of Gorgios and slaughtered many of his men. 
He then shouted out, ' At thee, Gorgios !' and stretched out 
his right hand to smite him, but Gorgios stepped back and 
thus escaped the blow, and throwing down his weapons, 
fled and made his escape, nor has he ever since been seen 
or recognised alive or dead. Some hold the opinion that 
he fled to the desert of Maresha (ncno), in the wilderness of 
Edom, and there died. 

(2) Judah now returned to Edom, and, after destroying 
all their cities, took all the inhabitants prisoners. At this 
time graven images of the nations were discovered under 
the clothes of those Hasmoneans that were slain in battle. 

286 [xcvili. 3 

Judah then knew that they had fallen through then- 
iniquity, and said, ' Blessed be the Lord, who discovers 
that which is hidden, and who revealed these secrets.' He 
then exhorted the people to serve the Lord in holiness and 
purity, and returned to Jerusalem. 

(3) Now, when Antiochus Eopator heard of all the battles 
Judah had waged and of the cities he had captured, he 
broke the covenant he had made with Judah, and marched 
out against him with an army as numerous as the sand 
upon the seashore, together with Lysias, his cousin, who 
also marched out at the head of a huge army. Having 
arrived in the land of Judah, he laid siege to Bethter. 
(4) Seeing this, Judah and all the elders of Israel called 
upon the Lord in fasting, tears, and in supplication. They 
also sacrificed burnt-ofTerings and offered peace-offerings. 
On that night Judah mustered all his chosen men of the 
Hasmoneans, and, dividing them round the camp of the 
king, he slew 4,000 men and the largest elephant. In the 
morning the king arranged his men in line of battle 
opposite Judah, and a very fierce engagement took place. 

(5) Judah suddenly noticed an elephant coated with 
armour of gold, and as it was greater than all the other 
elephants, he thought the king must be riding it, and 
shouted out to his men, ' Who of you are with me ?' 
And forthwith Eleazar, one of the young Hasmoneans, 
sprang forward and faced the elephant, felling to the 
ground all who came in his way, and, striking out right 
and left, the slain fell on either side of him ; then, rushing 
in the thick of the fight, and placing himself between the 
elephant's legs, he pierced its belly with his sword, and it 
fell upon him, so that he died, having sacrificed his life for 
the Lord and for his people, and left a name after him, and 
courage to all who heard it. It was a day of mourning to 
his people. There fell in battle on that day 800 of the 
king's nobles, besides the other people that were slain 
among them. 

(6) The king then ceased fighting, and returned to his 
tent. Soon after his return, he was informed that Phillip 

XCIX. 3] 287 

had revolted against him, and that Demetrius, the son of 
Seleucus the king, was coming from Eome with a large 
army, in order to wrest the kingdom from his hands. 
Being sorely frightened, the king made peace, and made 
a covenant with Judah, embracing and kissing him, and 
ratified it by an oath, in which Lysias joined, saying, ' We 
shall never as long as we live go to war against Jerusalem.' 
The king then brought out much gold from his treasury, 
and gave it as a present to the house of God in Jerusalem. 

(7) He took Menelaus, a Jud^ean, prisoner, who brought 
Antiochus to Jerusalem, and caused him to do evil, and 
also Eopator. The king, being very wrath with him, 
ordered him to be carried to a lofty tower, fifty cubits 
in height, and near it there was dust and ashes in 
immense quantities. Then, commanding him to be bound 
hand and foot, they cast him into the ashes, and buried 
him beneath them, so that he died in torment, through his 
iniquity, for he had committed many abominations before 
the altar of the Lord with the sacred dust and ashes. 
Thus this wicked man died, suffocated with the very 
ashes with which he committed abominations. Just is 
the Lord, who requites man according to his deeds and 
the fruit of his actions. 

XCIX. (1) After this the king went his way to Macedon 
and Judah, judged his people, and did righteousness and 
justice. At that time Demetrius, the son of Seleucus the 
king, with a Koman army, engaged in battle with Antiochus 
Eopator, in which Antiochus and Lysias were slain, and 
he held the reins of government in Antiochia in Macedon. 

(2) Now, Alkimos the priest, a worthless man, who ate 
swine's flesh during the reign of Antiochus, came to 
Demetrius, and said, ' Long live King Demetrius ! How 
long wilt thou remain inactive on behalf of thy servants in 
the land of Judah, who have fallen by the sword of Judah, 
the son of Mattathias, and his people the Jews, who are 
called Hassidim? He slays us because we refuse to 
comply with many precepts of their law.' 

(3) Demetrius, stirred to anger by this, sent Nicanor, 

288 [xcix. 4 

the captain of his army, with a strong army, and chariots, 
horsemen, elephants, and footmen without number. Arriv- 
ing at Jerusalem, he sent word professing his friendship, 
and said, ' Come and let us see each other, and consult 
in a friendly manner.' Judah, fearing no treachery, went 
to meet him. When Nicanor met him, he embraced him, 
and asked after his welfare. Then, placing seats for both 
of them, they sat down and conversed. Judah, however, 
had commanded his young Hasmoneans to remain armed 
ready for battle, lest the enemy suddenly attack them. 
Accordingly, his men stood near him, ready at any 
moment for the fray, as Judah had ordered. Judah 
and Nicanor at length rose from their seats, and went 
into their respective tents, and they dwelt both in Jerusalem, 
there being no war between them. On the contrary, 
Nicanor was very fond of Judah, and said to him, ' Would 
it not be meet for a man like thee to take a wife and beget 
children ?' Judah married, and begat children. 

(4) When Alkimos recognised the love Judah and Nicanor 
bore each other, he again went to the king, and informed 
him what had taken place. The king thereupon sent a 
letter to Nicanor, saying, ' If thou wilt not send me Judah, 
son of Mattathiah, bound in chains, know that thou wilt 
surely be slain.' Judah soon became aware of this, and, 
leaving the city by night, he sounded the trumpet-call and 
gave the battle-signal, and when all the valiant Hassidim 
and Hasmoneans had mustered in full force, he went to 
Samaria, and remained there. 

(5) In the meantime Nicanor went to the temple of the 
Lord, and said to the priests, ' Bring ye out the man who 
fled from me, that I may send him to the king bound in 
chains.' But the priests swore unto him, saying, ' He has 
not been here, nor have we seen him since the day before 
yesterday.' At this reply, Nicanor spoke blasphemously of 
the temple, and, spitting upon it, stretched out his right 
hand, and, baring his arm for slaughter, he said, ' I will 
overthrow this temple, and will not leave one single stone 
in its place, and I shall dig up and overturn all its founda- 

xcix. 8] 289 

tions.' With this, he departed in anger, and the priests 
went about crying between the porch and the altar, and 
said, * God, whose dwelling-place has of old been in this 
temple, now continue to rest here, for here is Thy throne, 
and here is Thy footstool, and all Thy service. The heart 
of Nicanor was filled with blasphemy towards Thy house 
and towards Thy habitation. He acted treacherously 
against the temple of Thy glory, and has committed 
abomination, therefore let him die as an abomination.' 

(6) Nicanor searched all the houses of Jerusalem for 
Judah, and sent 500 troops to the house of Daqsios 
(DiN^Dpn), the Elder of Hassidim, who was tested in 
Antiochus's reign and found perfect, for he had suffered 
many tortures, and was called 'Father of the Jews and 
Judge in Jerusalem.' 

(7) And as Nicanor was trying to show his bitter hatred 
of the Jews, he sent a messenger to fetch the old man, 
while his men surrounded the house to catch him ; but 
the old man, unsheathing his sword and piercing his 
bowels, ran upon the wall, and threw himself upon 
Nicanor's troops, who made room for him, and he fell to 
the ground. But he soon rose up again, and went towards 
the troops. He stood on a large stone, and from the great 
loss of blood which was rapidly flowing from him, he 
became distracted, and took part of his entrails and threw 
it at the troops. Then, calling upon the Lord in prayer, he 
died, and was gathered to his people. 

(8) When Judah heard these things, he waxed furious, 
and sent a message to Nicanor, saying, 'Why dost thou 
delay ? Come into the field, and I will show thee the man 
thou hast been seeking in the chamber. Behold, he is 
here waiting for thee in the valley and in the plain.' 
Nicanor then gathered all his forces, and went to meet the 
Jews on a Sabbath. The Jews that were with him said, 
* my lord, we beseech thee, do not act presumptuously ; 
grant Him honour who gave the Sabbath.' 'And who, 
indeed, gave the Sabbath ?' asked Nicanor. ' The God 
whose dwelling is in heaven,' answered they, ' and whose 


290 [xcix. 9 

dominion extends over the whole world.' Nicanor then 
spoke such words of blasphemy as are not fit to be written 

(9) Judah heard of this, and said to his men, * How long 
will we be indolent, and refuse to give battle to this reviler 
and blasphemer ? for who is this dead dog and outcast that 
defies the strength and glory of Israel ?' 

(10) He then marched in great anger and zeal to attack 
Nicanor, who came to meet him with a huge and powerful 
army. And Judah cried to the Lord, saying, ' Lord my 
God, Thou didst send a messenger into the camp of Senna- 
cherib, whose men stood up outside the city and blasphemed 
Thee, and Thou didst smite his multitude by slaying 
175,000 men ; the slain we counted, but the slayer we 
did not see. Now, how much more deserving of death 
is this man, who has stood up against Thy temple, and 
has blasphemed Thy might and Thy glory ?' 

(11) On that day a very fierce and bloody battle was 
fought. When Judah saw Nicanor with drawn sword, he 
cried out, ' At thee, Nicanor !' and then ran against him in 
the fury of his anger. And Nicanor turned his back to flee, 
but Judah laid hold of him, and, cutting him in two, cast 
him to the ground. There fell on that day 30,000 men of the 
Macedonian army. The remainder fled, but were pursued 
by Judah's men, who all the while were sounding the 
Shofar. All the cities of Judah turned out to meet the 
enemy, and smote them, cutting them to pieces, so that not 
one of them remained alive. Then, proceeding to strip 
the slain, they found abundance of gold, precious stones, 
and purple garments. They cut off the head of Nicanor 
and the arm that he had stretched out against God's 
temple, and hung them up before the gate, which has 
henceforth until this very day been called ' The gate of 
Nicanor.' The people then rejoiced exceedingly, and sang 
the Psalms of David, King of Israel, concluding, ' For He 
is good, and His mercy endureth for ever.' 

(12) Ever since that time the Jews celebrate this day as 
a feast and a holiday, on which wine is drunk — viz., the 

C. 4] 291 

13th day of Adar, one day before ' Purim/ And Judah 
judged all his people, and did justice and righteousness in 
the land. 

C. (1) At the end of the year, the days of Judah drew 
to a close, and the Lord ordained that Judah end his days, 
and be gathered to his people the Hassidim. At this time 
Baqidos (on^pn) suddenly came upon Judah with 30,000 
men of the Macedonian army, while he was in Laish 
(Leshem?). The 3,000 men that were with him fled as 
one man, and the only ones that remained were himself, 
his brothers, and 800 chosen men of Israel, who did not 
stir from their places. All these men were Judah's 
associates, tried veterans in all the wars that Judah had 
waged with the nations. 

(2) Baqidos then brought forward 15,000 men, and 
arranged them in line of battle on the right of Judah, while 
on his left he placed another army to the number of 15,000. 
There was a great shouting, both on the right and left of 
Judah ; but when he saw that the battle was very fierce, 
and that Baqidos stood on his right— for all the warriors of 
Baqidos remained on the right, and that the right wing 
was with him — he shouted and leaped forward followed by 
his brothers, and the few Hasmoneans. (3) He ran in the 
direction of Baqidos, and a fierce and terrible battle ensued, 
at the beginning of which heaps of Macedonians were slain. 
As soon as Judah saw Baqidos standing in the midst of the 
people, he ran towards him in the strength of his anger, 
and smote many of his warriors. He struck out right and 
left at all who came in his way, slaying enemies without 
number, until he had no place to walk except upon the 
slain. Upon these he made his way. (4) He then came 
face to face with Baqidos, with sword unsheathed and 
steeped in blood. As soon as Baqidos beheld Judah's face, 
it appeared to him like that of a lion robbed of its prey, 
and fear and trembling seized him. Turning his back, he 
attempted to flee in the direction of Ashdod, but Judah 
pursued him, and put all his men, 15,000, to the edge 

of the sword. 


292 [C. 5 

(5) Baqidos succeeded in effecting his escape to Ashdod, 
and his army, which was behind him, finding Judah faint 
and weary, fell upon him. Baqidos came out from the 
city, and war was waged on every side, and many more 
were slain, Judah being among the number, falling upon 
those he had slain. His brothers Simeon and Jonathan 
took him and buried him on Mount Moda'ith, and all 
Israel mourned for him many days. The number of years 
during which Judah, surnamed Maccabee, ministered unto 
Israel was six years, and the Lord caused him to prosper 
all the days of his life. 

[End of the Book of the Maccabee.] 


Philonis Iudaei Antiquitatum Biblicarum Liber Incerto 

Initio mundi Adam genuit tres filios, et unam filiam, Cain, Noaba, 
Abel, et Seth : Er uixit Adam, postquam genuit Seth, annos DCC. et 
genuit filios duodecim, et filias octo : Et haec sunt nomina uirorum, 
Aeliseel, Suris, Aelamiel, Brabal, Naat, Harama, Zasam, Maathal, et 
Anath : Et hae filiae eius, Phua, lectas, Arebica, Siphatecia, Sabaasin. 
Et uixit Seth annos CV. et genuit Enos : Et uixit Seth, postquam 
genuit Enos annos DCCVII. et genuit fihos tres, et filias tres: Et 
haec sunt nomina filiorum eius, EUdia, Phonna et Matha : Fiharum 
uero, Mahda et Thila. Et uixit Enos annos CLXXX. et genuit 
Cainan : Et uixit Enos, postquam genuit Cainan annos DCCXV. et 
genuit filios duos et filiam: Et haec sunt nomina fiUorum eius, 
Phoe, Thaal : Fihae autem, Catennath. Et uixit Cainan annos DXX. 
et genuit Malalech : Et uixit Cainan, postquam genuit Malalech, annos 
DCCXXX. et genuit tres fihos et duas fihas : Et haec sunt nomina 
uirorum, Athac, Socer, Lopha: Et nomina filiarum. Ana et Lena. 
Et uixit Malalech annos CLXV. et procreauit lareth : Et uixit Malalech 
postquam procreauit lareth, annos DCCXXX. et genuit filios septem, 
et filias quinquae : et haec sunt nomina uirorum, Leta, Mata, Cechar, 
Melie, Suriel, Lodootim : Et haec sunt nomina fiharum eius, Ada et 
Noa, lebal, Mada, Sella. Et uixit lareth annos CLXXII. et genuit 
Enoc : Et uixit lareth postquam genuit Enoc annos DCCC, et genuit 
filios quatuor, et filias duas : Et haec sunt nomina uirorum, Lead, 
Anac, Soboac, et letar : Filiarum autem, Tetheco, Lesse. Et uixit 
Enoc annos CLX. et V. et genuit Mathusalam : Et uixit Enoc postquam 
genuit Mathusalam, amios CC. et genuit filios quinquae et filias tres. 
Placuit autem Enoc deo in tempore illo, et non inueniebatur, quoniam 
transtuUit ilium deus: Nomina autem filiorum eius, Anaz, Zeum, 
Achaun, Pheledi, Elid : Filiarum autem, Theth, Lephith, Leath. Et 
uixit Mathusalam annos CLXXX VII. et genuit Lamech : Et uixit 
Mathusalam, postquam genuit Lamech, annos DCCLXXXII. et genuit 
duos filios, et duas filias : Et haec sunt nomina uirorum, Inab et 


Eapho : Filiarum autem, Aluma, et Aniuga. Et iiixit Lamech annos 
CLXXXII. et genuit filium et uocauit eum secundum natiuitatem suam, 
Noe, dicens : Hie requiem dabit nobis, et terrae, ab his qui sunt in ea, 
in quibus uisitabitur, propter iniquitatem operum malorum. Et uixit 
Lamech, postquam procreauit Noe, annos DLXXX. et V. Et uixit 
Noe annos CCC. et genuit fihos tres, Sem, Cham, lapheth. Cain 
autem habitauit in terra tremens, secundum quod constituit ei deus, 
postquam interfecit Abel, fratrem suum : Et nomen muheris eius 
Themech: Et cognouit Cain Themech muherem suam, et concepit, 
et peperit Enoc. Cain autem erat annorum quindecim, quando fecit 
haec : Et ex eo (fol. 2) coepit aedificare ciuitates, quousque conderet 
ciuitates septem : Et haec sunt nomina ciuitatum : Nomen primae 
ciuitatis secundum nomen fihj sui Enoc : Nomen autem secundae 
ciuitatis MauH, et tertiae Leed, et nomen quartae Tehe, et nomen 
quintae lesca, nomen autem sextae Celet, et nomen septimae lebbat, 
Et uixit Cain postquam genuit Enoc annos DCCXV. et genuit tres 
filios et duas Alias : Et haec sunt nomina filiorum eius, Olad, Lizaph, 
Fosal: Et filiarum eius, Citha, et Maac. Et facti sunt omnes dies 
Cain anni DCCXXX. et mortuus est. Tunc accepit Enoc mulierem 
de filiabus Seth, et genuit ei Ciram, et Cuuth, et Madab : Ciram autem 
genuit Matusael, Matusael autem genuit Lamech, Lamech autem accepit 
sibi mulieres duas : nomen uni Ada : et nomen alteri Sella. Et peperit 
Ada lobab : ipse erat pater omnium habitantium in tabernaculis, et 
pascentium pecora : Et iterum genuit ei lobal, qui initiauit docere 
omnem psalmum organorum. In tempore illo cum initiassent habi- 
tantes terram operari iniqua, unusquisque in uxores proximi sui, con- 
taminantes eas, indignatus est deus, et coepit percutere cyneram, et 
cytharam, et omne organum dulcis psalterij, et corrumpere terram. 
Sella autem genuit Tobel, et Nuha, et Theffa : Et hie est Thobel, qui 
ostendit hominibus artes in plumbo et stagno, et ferro, et aeramento, 
et argento, et auro. Et tunc coeperunt habitantes terram facere 
sculptiha et adorare ea . . . (fol. 3) . . . Et fuerunt filij, Noe qui 
exierunt de area: Sem, Cam, et lapheth. Filij lapheth, Magog, 
Madai, Nidiazec, Tubal, Mocteras, Cenez, Eiphath, et Thegorma, 
Elisa, Dessin, Cethin, Tudant. Et filij Gomer, Thelez, Lud, Deber- 
let. Et filij Mago, Cesse, et Thipha, Pharuta, Ammiel, Phimei, 
Goloza, Samanac. Et fihj Duden, Sallus, Pheluciti, Phalhta. Et 
filij Tubal, Phanatanoua, Eteua. Et filij Tiras, Maac, Tabel, Ballana, 
Samplameac, Elaz. Et filij Mellec, Amboradat, Vrac, Bosara. 
Et filij Cenez, lubal, Zaraddana, Anac. Et filij Heri, Phuddet, 
Doad, Dephad, Zeath, Enoc. Et filij Torgoma, Abiuth, Saphath, 
Asapli, Zepthir. Et filij Elisa, et Zaac, Zenez, Mastisa, Eira. Et 
filij Zepti, Macziel, Temna, Aela, Phinon. Et filij Tessis, Meccul, 
Loon, Zelatabar. Et filij Duodennin, Itheb, Beath, Pheneth. Et hi 
sunt qui dispersi sunt, et habitauerunt in terra apud Persas et (fol. 4). 


Monadas, in insulis, quae sunt in mari. Et ascendit Plianat, filius 
Dudeni, et praecepit fieri naues maris, et tunc diuisa est pars tertia 
terrae. Domereth, et filij eius acceperunt Ladech. Magoge autem, 
et filij eius acceperunt Degalmadam — et filij eius acceperunt Besto. 
luban, et filij eius acceperunt Ceel. Tubal, et filij eius acceperunt 
Pheed. Misech, et filij eius acceperunt Nepthi. Iras, et filij eius 
acceperunt ^ Duodennut et filij eius acceperunt "^ Goda- 
riphath, et filij eius acceperunt Bosarra. Tergoma, et filij eius accepe- 
runt * Fudelisa et filij eius acceperunt "^ Thabolathesis, 
et filij eius acceperunt Marecham. Cethim, et filij eius acceperunt 
Thaan. Dudennin, et filij eius acceperunt Caruba. Et tunc coeperunt 
operari terram, et seminare super earn. Et cum sitiret terra, ex- 
clamauerunt habitantes earn ad dominum, et exaudiuit eos, et ampli- 
auit pluuia. Et factum est cum descenderet pluuia super terram, 
apparuit arcus in nube : Et uiderunt habitantes terram memoriam 
testamenti, et ceciderunt in faciem suam, et immolauerunt offerentes 
holocaustomata domino. Filij autem Cam, Chus, et Mestra, et Phuni, 
et Chanaan. Filij Ethij, Chus, Saba, et Tudan. Et filij Effuntenus, 
Zeleutelup, Geluc, Lephuc. Et filij Sidona, Endain, Kacin, Simmin, 
Vruin, Nenugin, Amathinnephin, Telaz, Elat, Cusin. Chus autem 
genuit Nembroth, ipse initiauit esse superbus ante dominum. Mestram 
uero genuit Ludin, et luenugin, et Labin, et Latuin, et Petrosonum, 
et Ceslun : Vnde exierunt Philistini et Cappadoces. Et tunc coeperunt 
etiam et ipsi aedificare ciuitates. Et hae sunt civitates, quas aedifi- 
cauerunt, Sidona, et circumiacentia eius, id est, Kesun, Beosamaza, 
Gerras, Calon, Dabircaino, Tellunlacis, Sodoma, et Gomorra, Adama, et 
Segom. Et filij Sem, Elam, Assur, Arphaxa, Luzi, Aram. Et filiarum, 
Assum, Gedrummese. Arphaxas autem genuit Sala, Sala genuit Heber : 
Et Heber nati sunt duo fifij, nomen uni, Phalech : Quoniam in diebus 
eius diuisa est terra : Et nomen fratris eius leptam. leptam autem 
genuit EHmodan, et Salastra, et Mazaam, Eea, Dura, Vzia, Deglabal, 
Mimoel, Sabthphin, Euilac, lubab. Et filij Phalec, Kagau, Kephuth, 
Zepheram, Aculon, Sachar, Siphaz, Nabi, Suri, Seciur, Phalacus, 
Eapho, Phalthia, Zaldephal, Zaphis, et Arteman, Heliphas. Hij filij 
Phalec, et haec nomina eorum. Et acceperunt sibi uxores de filiabus 
lectan, et generauerunt filios et filias, et compleuerunt terram. Kagau 
autem accepit sibi raulierem, Melcham, filiam Kuth, et genuit ei Seruch. 
Et quum factus fuisset dies partus eius, dixit: Ex isto nascetur in 
quarta generatione, qui ponat habitationem super excelsa, et perfectus 
uocabitur, et immaculatus, et pater gentium erit, et non dissoluetur 
testamentum eius, et semen eius in seculum multiplicabitur. Et uixit 
Kagau, postquam genuit Seruch, annos CXVIIII. Et genuit septem 
filios, et quinque filias : Et haec sunt nomina fihorum eius, Abielobth, 
Salma, Dedasal, Zeneza, Accur, Nephes, Et haec nomina filiarum 
eius, Cedema, Derisa, Seipha, Pherita, Theila. Efc uixit Seruch annos 


XXIX. et genuit Nachor. Et uixit Seruch, postquam genuit Nachor, 
annos LXVII. et genuit quatuor filios, et tres filias. Et haec sunt 
nomina uirorum, Zela, Zobadica, et Phodde. Et hae filiae eius 
Tephila, Oda, Selipha, et uixit Nachor annos XXXIIII. et genuit 
Tharram. Et uixit Nachor, postquam genuit Tharram (fol. 5), annos 
CC. et genuit VIII. fiUos, et V. filias. Et haec sunt nomina uirorum, 
Eecap, Dediap, Berechap, losac, Sithal, Nisab, Nadab, Camoel. Et filiae 
eius, Esca, Thiphabruna, Ceneta. Et uixit Tharra annos LXX. et 
genuit Ambram, et Nachor, et Arram. Tharram autem genuit 
Loth. . . . 


Aaron, the High Priest, sees no joy 
from his sons, x. 10 ; called so be- 
cause in the time of his mother's 
pregnancy Pharaoh began to shed 
blood of male children, xliv. 1 ; 
prophesies to the Israelites, xliv. 
15 ; ordered by God to meet 
Moses, xlvii. 3 ; tells Moses to 
send his wife and children back, 
xlvii. 3 ; staff of, swallows staves 
of Pharaoh's magicians, xlvii. 7 ; 
takes the ewe's wool away from 
the woman, Iv. 1 ; takes the flesh 
of the ewe, Iv. 3 ; death of, xlix. ; 
waited on by Moses, Eleazar, and 
all the princes, xlix. 2 ; walks be- 
tween Moses and Eleazar, con- 
trary to the usual custom, xlix. 2; 
soul of, referred to by Moses as 
claimed by God, xlix. 3 ; shown 
the cave of Machpelah, by the 
ground suddenly opening, xlix. 4 ; 
sees a burning lamp, prepared 
bed, and a table spread on enter- 
ing the cave, xlix. 4 ; stretches 
out his leg, closes his eyes and 
mouth, and his soul departs, 
xlix. 4 ; coffin of, suspended in 
mid-air by angels, to allay the 
suspicion against Moses, xlix. 7 ; 
loved with a greater love by Is- 
raelites than Moses, xhx. 2; death 
of, mourned by Israelites for 
thirty days, xlix. 7 ; dies in the 
same year as Miriam, on the first 
day of the fifth month, xlviii. 17 ; 
buried on Mount Hor, xlviii. 17 

Abadon, fifth compartment of hell, 
xvii. 2 

Abahu's, parable of three men, xi. 1 ; 
homily, xiv. 1 

Abarim, mount under which books 
of Emorites concealed, Ivii. 10 

Abiel, son of Reu, xxvii. 6 ; son of 
Shaphat, king of the four tribes, 
Ixiii. 9 

Abigedor, name given Moses by 
his grandfather, Kehath, xliv. 7 

Abihail, son of Shaphat, captain of 
the host of the four tribes, Ixiii. 9 

Abi Jezreel, did not worship Baal in 
the days of Yair, Iviii. 10 

Abiram, lost his soul through riches, 
X. 10 

Abi Sokho, name given Moses by 
his nurse, xliv. 7 

Abi Zanoali, name given Moses by 
his brother, xliv. 7 

Abraham, born in forty-third year 
of reign of Ninus, xxxii. 6 ; por- 
tent appears at the birth of, 
xxxiv. 1 ; discovers that both sun 
and moon are subservient to a 
higher Master, xxxiv. 3 ; offers a 
sacrifice to image, xxxiv. 6 ; burns 
his father's idols, xxxiv. 8 ; differ- 
ence in future reward of children 
of, to that of children of Jacob, 
XX. 7 ; refuses to obey Yoqtan 
to flee, xxix. 10 ; cast into the 
furnace, xxix. 13 ; selection of, 
XXX. 3 ; argument of, against 
idolatry, xxxiii. 1 ; ordered by 
Nimrod to make an image, 
xxxiii. 2 ; cast into furnace by 
Nimrod, xxxiii. 3 ; delivered from 
furnace by God Himself, xxxiv. 
13 ; tests Nimrod, xxxiv. 11 ; 
goes from Babylon to Damascus, 
xxxv. 2 ; hidden in a cave, 
XXXV. 3 ; wise in sciences of 
' hermetica ' and astrology, xxxv. 


4 ; sees the order of creation 
changed, xxxv. 4 ; teaches Zoro- 
aster magic, xxxv. 4 ; the oak 
under which he sat still used for 
medicinal purposes, xxxv, 5 

Absalom, downfall of, caused by 
beauty, x. 10 ; not smitten, in 
second compartment of hell, 
XX. 6 ; generation of, excepted 
from dwelling in third house 
in Eden, xx. 6 ; messenger of 
Lysias, xcv. 5 

Abtinos, succeeds Komulus, xl. 14 ; 
wages war with the children of 
Eifath, who dwelt by the Lira, 
and with the children of Turnus, 
who dwell in Toronia bj' the 
Lira, xl. 14 

Abyaush of Makedon, Apumasia. 
his daughter, concubine of Darius, 
Ixxv. 6 ; daughter of, takes the 
crown from the head of King 
Darius, and places it upon her 
own head, Ixxv. 6 

Accad, i.e. Nisibis, xxxi. 18 

Achan ben Zabdi, confessed, the 
Israelites should do likewise, 
Ivii. 8 

Achaya, flood in, xxxv. 9 

Ada, wife of Lemech, xxiv. 5 

Adam, creation and legends of, 
vi. 10 et seq. ; during first twelve 
hours of his life, vi. 10 ; causes 
creatures to acknowledge Creator, 
vi. 12 ; helpmeet for, vi. 15 ; 
letters added to his name, vi. 16 ; 
sons and daughters of, xxvi. 1,2; 
induced by his wife to transgress 
God's Word, Ixxv. 7; Hves 700 
years after Seth's birth, and 
begets eleven sons and eight 
daughters, xxvi. 2 

Adam and Eve, clothes of, created 
on second day, i. 3 ; like a bridal 
pair, vii. 2 

Adirah, a kingdom in Kush, Ixiii. 
8 ; built by Misraim, xxvii. 4 

Adonijah ben Hagith, downfall of, 
caused by beauty, x. 10 

Adoram the Edomite, killed by an 
arrow shot from Jacob's bow, 
xxxvii. 4 

Adulterer, descends to hell for ever, 
XV. 6 

Adultery, punishment for, xiii. 4 

AemiUus, succeeds Procas, xl. 14 ; 

at the head of the Roman army, 
xcvi. 3 ; one of the Roman com- 
manders killed at Canusi, xcvi. 4 

Aeneas rules Empire of Italy three 
(or eight) years after the capture 
of Troy, lix. 10 

Afriqia in Ham's portion, xxxi. 2 

Agnios, King of Carthage, to whom 
Sefo flies from Egypt, xl. 3 ; 
King of Afriqi, xl. 4 ; King of 
Afriqi, from whom Turnus fled, 
xl. 14 ; reigned over Italy in the 
third year after the capture of 
Troy, lix. 10 

Agrimus, demon firstborn of Adam, 
xxiii. 3 ; helps Matushelali to place 
imps in fetters, xxiii. 3 

Agrippa succeeds Tiberios, xl. 14 

Ahab presides over, and not smitten, 
in fifth compartment of hell, xx, 9 

Ahab ben Qolaya, false prophet, 
Midrash of, Ixiv, ; goes to the 
daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, in- 
ducing her to sin, Ixiv. 2 

Ahalah, a kingdom in Kush, 
Ixiii. 8 

Ahasuerus, succeeds Cambisa, 
Ixxviii, 5 ; abolished all the work 
of the temple, Ixxviii. 5 ; nearly 
destroyed the memory of Judah, 
Ixxix, 1 ; orders the loyalty of 
Mordecai to be entered into the 
Book of Chronicles, Ixxix. 2 ; 
embraces Esther, Ixxx. 5 ; alarmed 
at the faintness of Esther, weeps, 
Ixxx. 6 ; accuses the butchers, 
bakers, and butlers of poisoning 
him, Ixxxiii. 6 ; sends for work- 
men to make a throne like that 
of King Solomon, Ixxxiv. 1 

Aheyya, son of Shemhazai, xxv. 7 ; 
invoked by men when they bear 
heavy loads, xxv, 11 

Ahiqam, son of, appointed king 
over those who remained in 
Jerusalem, Ixi, 9 

Ahitophel lost his soul through 
wisdom, X. 10 

Aholibah, a kingdom in Kush, 
Ixiii. 8 

Air created on first day, i. 3 

Akhzariel, angel appointed to carry 
out death of Moses, 1. 5 

Akta built by Ogiges, and called 
Eliosin (Eleusis), xxxv. 9 

'Akur, son of Re'u, xxvii. 6 


Alan, whole of, captured by Cyrus, 

Ixxviii. 1 
Alba succeeds Anios Trognos, xl. 14 
Albano, cit}^ of, xl. 5 ; built by a 

descendant of Hadarezer, xl. 16 
Alexander the Great, son of Phil- 
lippus, crowned Kmgof Macedon, 
Ixxxv. 3 ; of Macedon. enclosed 
peoples m Caspian Mountains, 
xxxi. 4 ; smote Egypt, and 
slew in Alexandria double as 
many Jews as went out from 
Egypt, Ixxxv. 3 ; the Macedonian, 
King of Greece, slays Darius, 
Ixxxv. 3 ; wishes to go up to 
smite Jerusalem, Ixxxv. 3 ; warned 
against injuring Jews, Ixxxv. 4 ; 
met by the High Priest in Jeru- 
salem, Ixxxv. 5 ; bows down 
before the High Priest, Ixxxv. 5 ; 
informed that it was not per- 
mitted to place his image in the 
Temple, Ixxxv. 6 ; informed that 
Darius would be delivered into 
his hand, Ixxxv. 7 ; slays Darius 
and captures his kingdom, Ixxxv. 
7 ; subdues India, Ixxxv. 8 ; reigns 
six years in Elam (according to 
E. Jose), Ixxxv. 8 ; before his 
death divides his kingdom among 
his four pages, Ixxxv. 8 ; captures 
Helena as wife in the time of 
Elon the Zebulonite, lix. 9 

Alexandida, in Egypt, made the 
royal city by Alexander, Ixxxv. 7 

Alkimos, a worthless priest, incites 
Antiochus against the Jews, 
Ixxxvii. 7 ; eats swine's flesh, stirs 
up Demetrius against the Jews, 
xcix. 2; informs Antiochus Eu- 
pator of the friendship between 
Judah and Nicanor, xcix. 4 

Almania, son of Elisa, fought Lati- 
nus XL, xl. 13 

Almodad, son of Yoqtan, xxvii. 5 

Alsar captured by Cyrus, Ixxviii. 1 

Amaleq defeated, xlviii. 13 ; son 
of Eliphaz, son of Esau, makes 
war upon the Israelites, xlviii. 

Anion, a little fortified city in Egypt, 
near the Salt Sea, Ix. 10 

Amano, mountain in Brittania (?), 
xxxi. 4 

Amorites determine to kill sons of 
Jacob, xxxvi. 1 ; come to terms 

with sons of Jacob, xxxvi. 12 ; 
books of, concealed under the 
Mount Ebarim, Ivii. 10; call 
seven golden idols the holy 
Ninfe, upon which are many 
precious stones, Ivii. 13 ; blind 
restored to sight by kissing the 
idols, Ivii. 14 ; too mighty for the 
Israelites to fight against, Ivii. 
Amram marries Jochebed, and 
begets Aaron and Miriam, xlii. 8, 
xliv. 1 ; advice of, to Israelites, 
xlii. 5 
Amtalai, daughter of Barnabo and 

wife of Nalior, xxvii. 7 
Anamim, son of Misraim, xxvii. 4 
Anba, built by Turnus, xl. 14 
Andaim, son of Canaan, xxvii. 4 
Andrios, a page of Ptolemy, Ixxxvii. 

Angels created on the second day, 
i. 8 ; four bands of, i. 9 ; seven 
ministering before God, i. 10; 
destroyed by God, vi. 3; ap- 
pointed over spirits of men, ix. 2 ; 
three ministering, appear to man 
at his death, x. 5, xii. 3 ; two 
bands at gates of Gehinnom, xiv. 
1 ; of death, xvii. 5, lii. 9 ; of death 
drives wicked like cattle, xvii. 3 ; 
of death flees before Moses, li. 7 ; 
of death approaches Moses 
second time, li. 7 ; of death ap- 
proaches Moses third time, li. 7 ; 
of destruction, xvii. 1, 5; of de- 
struction punish sinners twelve 
months in Gehinnom, xvii. 3 ; of 
destruction slays Israelites, Iv. 12 ; 
six thousand, of trembling, xvii. 
5 ; of terror, xvii. 5, lii. 9 ; of 
terror try to consume Moses, lii. 
9 ; of anguish, xvii. 5 ; of peace, 
xvii. 6 ; of peace weep at the 
distress of the law, Ixxxii. 3 ; of 
mercy, xvii. 6; of mercy dance 
and sing before the pious, xx. 1, 2 ; 
myriads of, guard gates of Para- 
dise, xviii. 1 ; sixty, at the head of 
every just man, xviii. 3 ; seventy 
thousand, surround God's throne, 
XXX. 8 ; dispute who shall rescue 
Abraham from fm-nace, xxxiv. 13; 
appointed over childbirth, xliii. 4; 
places two stones in child's hand, 
from one of which it sucks milk 


and from the other honey, xlii. 4, 
xliii. 4 ; washed children, rubbed 
them with salt, and bound them in 
swaddling clothes, xliii. 4 ; envy 
Adam, xxii. 1 ; led astray by 
woman in the days of Noah, 
XXV. 1 ; attacks Moses for his 
transgression of the covenant, 
xlvii. 2 ; Michael, Gabriel, and 
Uriel save Pharaoh from the sea, 
xlviii. 12 ; close all gates of 
heaven as long as Moses' prayer 
continued, 1. 5 ; exclamation at 
death of Moses, 1. 15 ; do not 
know where God dwells, lii. 6 ; 
ministering, xvii. 6 ; ministering 
pair went to each of the Israelites, 
lii. 12 ; ministering, descend and 
place two crowns upon every 
Israelite, lii. 13 ; ministering, 
clothe the Israelites, liii. 16 ; 
ministering, cry at the weeping 
of the law, Ixxxii. 3 
Anias succeeds Latinus, xl. 13 
Anias Trognos (Tarquinius) suc- 
ceeds Latinus II., xl. 14 
Animals roared on throne of Solo- 
mon, Ixxxiv. 8 
Annibal arrives in Germania by the 
sea Oceanus, xcvi. 2 ; humbles 
the pride of the Goths, xcvi. 2 ; 
King of Africa, reigns over the 
city called Carthagena, xcvi. 2 ; 
crosses the narrow sea between 
Africa and Sepharad, xcvi. 2 ; 
King of Africa, humbled by Eome, 
xcvi. 2 ; fights eighteen battles 
with the Komans in ten years, 
xcvi. 3 ; returns to Africa with 
his army, xcvi. 8 ; flees to Egypt, 
xcvi. 9 ; conquered by Scipio, 
xcvi. 9; brought to Africa with 
great honour, but takes poison, 
xcvi. 9 
Anointment of Judah for battle, 

xci. 3 
Anteos, in Lybia, conquered by 
Erkules in the reign of Tola, 
Iviii. 9 
Antiochia, i.e., Hamath, built by 
Hamathi, xxxi. 18 ; Komans 
make war upon, xcvii. 1 
Antiochus, the enemy of the Jews, 
made King of Asia by Alexander, 
Ixxxv. 8 ; made King of Mace- 
donia, Ixxxvii. 6 ; slays Ptolemy 

and rules in his stead, Ixxxvii. 6 ; 
commands his subjects to bow 
down before the image of the 
king, Ixxxvii. 7 ; informed by 
wicked Jews that the Jews re- 
joice at the report of his death, 
Ixxxvii. 7 ; prohibits the Jews 
from observing the Sabbath and 
from circumcising their children, 
Ixxxvii. 8; smites the Jews in 
Jerusalem with the edge of the 
sword, Ixxxvii. 8; commands 
Phillipos to slay every Jew who 
will not worship images and eat 
swine's flesh, Ixxxvii. 8; leaves 
his officers in Judea to afflict the 
people, Ixxxvii. 8 ; seizes seven 
brothers with their mother for 
refusing to eat swine's flesh, 
Ixxxix. 1 ; tears flesh of the 
Israelites like that of an ox, 
Ixxxix. 1 ; tries to entice the seven 
sons, Ixxxix. 1 et seq. ; subdued 
by the mother of the seven sons, 
Ixxxix. 9 ; exhorts the mother to 
induce her last son to escape by 
obeying him, Ixxxix. 10 ; tortures 
the seventh son much more cruelly 
than he did any of the other 
brothers, Ixxxix. 13 ; leaves 
Phillip to crush the Jews, xc. 1 ; 
musters a mighty army, xcii. 4 ; 
goes against the revolted Persians 
with half of his army, xcii. 4; 
compelled to flee from Ecbatana 
by the Persians, xciii. 3 ; swears 
he will make Jerusalem a burial- 
ground, xciii. 3 ; plagued by God 
with boils and an internal disease, 
xciii. 4 ; takes his enormous army 
and many elephants in the direc- 
tion of Jerusalem, xciii. 4 ; thrown 
out of his chariot, which is over- 
turned, xciii. 5 ; stench of the 
body of, xciii. 5 ; has his bones 
broken, in consequence of his 
being a stout and heavy man, 
xciii. 5 ; humbly acknowledges 
God's righteousness, xciii. 6 ; 
prayer of, not hearkened to by 
God, xciii. 7 ; succeeded by Eo- 
pater, his son, xciii. 7 
Antiochus Eupator, son of An- 
tiochus, sends Lysias against 
Judah, xcv. 2 ; letter of, to his 
cousin Lysias, xcv. 6 ; letter of, 


to Judah, xcv. 7 ; King of Greece, | 
defeated and compelled to pay 
tribute to the Eomans, xcvi. 1 ; 
breaks the covenant he made 
with Judah and marches against 
him, xcviii. 3 ; lays siege to 
Bethter, xcviii. 3 ; nobles fall 
in battle, xcviii. 5 ; makes a new 
covenant with Judah, xcviii. 6; 
informs Nicanor that unless he 
will send Judah bound in chains, 
he will be killed, xcix. 4 
Apis, King of Egypt in nineteenth 
year of Jacob's life, xxxv. 8 ; dei- 
fied and called " Sarapis," xxxv. 
8 ; the calf of, xxxv. 8 ; King of 
Egypt, built Mof, i.e., Menfis, 
xlii. 1 
ApoUonius, sword of, seized by 
Judah, xcii. 1 ; captain of the 
Macedonian host, gathers a large 
multitude against the Jews, 
xcii. 1. 
Apollopanis, brother of Timotheos, 
ordered to be beheaded by Judah, 
xciv. 7 

Apostates, punishment of, xvi. 7 

Apple-tree wishes to serve as gallows 
for Haman, Ixxxiii. 4 

Apumasia, concubine of Darius, 
Ixxv. 6 

E. Aqiba, concerning infliction of 
punishments in God's presence, 
xiii. 6 ; in first compartment, 
xviii. 7 

Aqolon, son of Peleg, xxvii. 5 

Aqrabim, sons of Esau surrender 
to sons of Jacob in, xxxvii. 14 

Aqtes, in Greece, built by Siqrops as 
metropolis, Ivi. 1 

Aram, in Ham's portion, xxxi. 2 ; 
children of, xxxi. 16 

Aramaic, language written on the 
wall, Ixviii. 3 ; language spoken 
in Syria, xxxi. 1 

Aran, son of Shem, xxvii. 5 

Ararat captured by Cyrus, Ixxviii. 1 

Arellm cry at the weeping of the 
law, Ixxxii. 3 

Argos, extermination of kings of, 
Iviii. 6 ; kings of, reign 544 years, 
Iviii. 6 ; passes into the hands of 
Mesenes, Iviii. 6 

Argument of the first king's cham- 
berlain, Ixxv. 1 

Arirah, a kingdom in Kush, Ixiii. 8 

Aristios, a page of Ptolemy, 

Ixxxvii. 1 
Ark in God's mind at creation, i. 4; 

surrounded by all the banners 

and pillar of cloud placed by God 

above it, liii. 6 
Armania, tents made of the hair of, 

Ixii. 11 
Armenei, children of Madai, xxxi. 4 
Armies represented by the hair of 

the feet in Isaiah's prophecy, 

Ix. 5 
Arpakhshad, son of Shem, xxvii. 5 
Arqa (one of the hells), he who is 

lowered in, ascends no more, 

xvii. 3 
'Arqi, city of 'Arqes, near Tripolis, 

xxxi. 18 
Arvadi, name of an island, Arvodios, 

xxxi. 18 
Asael, fall caused by power, x. 10 
Asaph, governor of the garden of 

Lebanon, Ixxvi. 3 
Ashchor did not worship Baal in 

the days of Yair, Iviii. 10 
Ashdod, Judah killed at battle out- 
side, c. 5 
Asher, constellation of, Scorpio, 

liii. 13 ; stone of, the onyx, liii. 

13 ; ensign of, an olive, liii. 14 ; 

find seven golden idols and hide 

them under Mount Shechem, 

Ivii. 13 
Ashkenaz, children of Gomer, in 

land of Greeks, xxxi. 4 
Ashqalon, built by Misraim, xxxii. 4 
Ashtaroth Karnaim, place where 

Bakires and Timothios fled to, 

xciii. 1 
Ashur, son of Shem, xxvii. 5 ; sons 

of, xxvii. 5; i.e., Bel, son of 

Nimrod, came from Kalna, xxxi. 

Asqinus (Ascanias) succeeds Anias, 
xl. 13 

Assimilation of Jews to the people 
of Antiochus, xc. 1 

Assyria, all kings of, called Antio- 
chus, xxxii. 6 ; camp of, smitten, 
the only survivors being Senna- 
cherib and Nebuchadnezzar, Ix. 
5 ; received by lottery by Cyrus, 
Ixviii. 10 

Astiras, the province into which 
Agnios arrived in ships, xl. 5 

Astrubel, son of Agnios and Jania, 


King of the Carthaginians, de- 
feated and killed by Latinus, 
King of the Kittim, xl. 10; brother 
of Annibal, killed by Scipios in 
Africa, xcvi. 6 ; head of, sent by 
Scipio to Annibal, xcvi. 6 

'Athrai, daughter of Pusai, prophecy 
concerning her, Ix. 4 

Avisianos succeeds Alba, xl. 14 

E. Aybo, concerning the death of 
Moses, 1. 1 

Aza, Timotheos flees to, xciv. 5 ; 
army of Timotheos utterly de- 
feated by Judah at, xciv. 5 ; be- 
sieged by Judah for five days, 
xciv. 5 ; walls of, scaled by Has- 
moneans, xciv. 6 ; gate of, fired 
by the Hasmoneans, captured, 
xciv. 6 ; spoil of, carried by the 
Hasmoneans to Jerusalem, xciv. 7 

Azael, Midrash of, xxv. ; advises 
God not to create man, xxv. 2 ; 
assumes human form and sins, 
xxv. 4 ; did not repent, xxv. 12 ; 
appointed chief over charms and 
ornaments, xxv. 7 

'Azah and 'Azazel, 1. 15 

Azazel, identified with Azael, who 
bears Israel's sins, xxv. 13 

Baal, i.e., Bel, a Baal Peor and Baal 
Zebub, xxxii. 5 ; worshipped by 
all Israelites in the reign of Yair, 
except by seven righteous men, 
Iviii. 10 

Babel, tower of, destruction, xxx. 5; 
contained seventy steps, xxx. 7 

Babylon, people settle in valley of, 
xxix. 1 ; i.e., Ur of the Chaldees, 
XXXV. 2 ; war of, with Eome, xl. 
20 ; King of, captures Jerusalem, 
and thus terrifies Romans, xl. 20; 
Judah and half Simeon journey 
the way of, Ixiii. 19 ; two mighty 
kings raised against, viz., Darius 
the Mede, and Cyrus the Persian, 
Ixvii. 1 ; capture of, by Cyrus 
and Darius, Ixviii. 8 ; terrible 
vengeance inflicted upon, by 
Cyrus and Darius, Ixviii. 8 ; most 
precious things of, burned by 
Cyrus and Darius, Ixviii. 9 ; ren- 
dered a waste land, like Sodom 
and Gomorrah, Ixviii. 9 

Bakidos comes upon Judah in 
Laish, c 1 ; arranges 15,000 men 

I on the right of Judah and 15 000 
men on his left, c. 2; succeeds in 
escaping to Ashdod, c. 5 
Bakires, a Macedonian general, 

xciii. 1 
Balaam lost his soul through wis- 
dom, X. 10 ; the Enchanter, one 
of Pharaoh's counsellors, advises 
king to kill Moses, xliv. 9 ; coun- 
sels people to rebel against Qin- 
qanos, xlv. 2 ; two sons of ( Jannis 
and Jambris), appointed captains 
of the host, xlv. 2 ; the En- 
chanter, i.e., Laban the Aramean, 
left behind to guard city of 
Cush, xlv. 2 ; stratagem of, xlv. 
2; king over the people, xlv. 2; 
flees to Pharaoh, King of Egypt, 
and advises king to kill Hebrews, 
xlv. 8 ; of Petor, advises that 
king should destroy Israelites by 
drowning, xlvi. 4 ; fearing Moses, 
flees to Cush, xlvi, 6 ; ordered by 
Moses to be summoned before 
him, xlvii. 6 ; deep counsel of, to 
Moabites, whereby the Israelites 
were punished, Iv. 10 ; tries to 
escape, flying by means of witch- 
craft, xlviii. 14 ; and two sons 
slain by Moses, xlviii. 14 ; brought 
to earth by God's ineffable name, 
xlviii. 14 
Banishment by Nebuchadnezzar on 
the eve of the 9th of Ab, Ixi. 1 
{v. Exile) 
Banners, four, of tribes correspond 
to the four elements of which the 
world is composed, liii. 10 
Baqtris belongs to Shem, xxxi. 2 
Barak captures Ilasor, Iviii. 4 
Baruch, son of Neriya, carried from 
Egypt to Babylon by Nebuchad- 
nezzar, Ix. 10 
Bath-Kol, or heavenly voice, suc- 
ceeds prophecy in the days of 
Malachi, Ixxxv. 2 
Batuah, a kingdom in Kush, Ixiii. 8 
Bauveri, children of Japheth, xxxi. 4 
Beast, huge, from middle down- 
wards like a man, from middle 
upwards like a goat, xl. 7; of 
field rear and sustain Israelitish 
children, xliii. 6 
Beath, son of Dodanim, xxvii. 2 
Beer Shaliat, second compartment 
of hell, xvii. 2 


Behemoth created on sixth day, 
vi. 1 ; fed daily from 1,000 hills, 
vi. 1 

" Behold," the Hebrew word = 55,1. 1 

Beings in the form of men walk 
about, Ivii. 41 

Bel succeeds to Babylon in days of 
Serug, xxxii. 3 ; god of Babylon, 
daily order of the offering of, 
Ixxii. 2 ; said to consume the 
offering laid upon his table, Ixxii. 
2 ; Daniel shows Darius the 
secret entrances through which 
priests came in to eat the con- 
tents of Bel's table, Ixxii. 6 

Bela, name of city to which Lot 
fled, XXXV. 6 

Belshazzar, King of the Chaldeans, 
rebelled against by Cyrus and 
Darius, Ixvii. 1 ; defiles the holy 
vessels by drinking wine from 
them, Ixvii. 2; greatly afraid at 
the words of Daniel, Ixviii. 4 ; 
princes and dignitaries of, crushed 
when passing through the gate 
in their excitement, Ixviii. 4 ; 
murdered by his doorkeeper, 
Ixviii. 5 ; head of, taken by the 
doorkeeper to Cyrus and Darius, 
Ixviii. 5 

Ben Azay concerning punishment, 
xiii. 6 

Benjamin, stone of, the amethyst, 
liii. 13 ; constellation of, Aqua- 
rius, liii. 13 ; ensign of, a wolf, 
liii. 14 ; wished to test whether 
God's law emanated from God 
or from Moses, Ivii. 15 ; tribe 
of, especially hated by Haman, 
Ixxix. 1 

Benjamites smite 18,000 Israelites, 
lix. 13 ; 25,000, total number of 
slain of, lix. 16 ; 600 flee to the 
cleft of Rimmon, lix. 16 

Ben Nethanel, name given Moses 
by all Israel, xliv. 7 

Berakhel, son of, owner of ship in 
Naphtali's second vision, xxxviii. 7 

Bethel, children of Eeuben dwell 
by, Ixiii. 17 

Beth Horon, people summoned to 
by Teron, xcii. 2 

Bethter attacked by Lysias with a 
battering-ram and stones, xcv. 2; 
inhabitants of, relieved by Judah, 
xcv. 4 

Bidria arose from Elisa and dwell 
on Rinos, xxxi. 12 

Bigthan and Teresh, the relatives 
of Haman, Ixxviii. 2 ; plot to 
hand over the king's head to 
the Macedonians, who were then 
warring with Persia, Ixxix. 2 

Birds sang, the, and the trees 
emitted their perfumes on throne 
of Solomon, Ixxxiv. 6 

Birean, brother of Timotheos, 
ordered to be beheaded by 
Judah, xciv. 7 

Bitanya, city of, built by Tah- 
panhes, Ivi. 5 

Bitto subdued by Madai, xxvii. 3 

Bityah (Pharaoh's daughter), son 
of, xlvi. 6 

Blade, fiery, held by angel of 
death, xii. 5 

Blind among Amorites restored to 
sight by kissing idols, Ivii. 14 

Blindness seizes the men who were 
round about the seven righteous 
men, Iviii. 10 

Blood, if decree sealed with, decreed 
will happen, Ixxxii. 5 

Blue used in tabernacle reflected 
in the rivers, liii. 18 

Bodea (or Borea), in Japheth's por- 
tion, xxxi. 3 

Boel complies with God's wish, 
vi. 4 ; name of, changed to 
Raphael, vi. 4, 5 

Bohu created on first day, i. 3 ; 
above Tohu, xvii. 4 

Books and precious stones to be 
placed on the top of the moun- 
tain by the side of the new altar, 
Ivii. 18 ; which cannot be burnt 
by fire or broken by iron to be 
destroyed by dew, Ivii. 18 

Borgonia arose from Elisa, and 
dwell by river Rodano, xxxi. 12 
(v. Burgunia) 

Bosrah subdued by Riphath, 
xxvii. 3 

Bricks, twelve princes refuse to 
make, xxix. 3 ; made from clay 
and pitch, xxx. 7 

Brittania (=Bytinia?), xxxii. 4 

Brook from Garden of Eden habita- 
tion of the dead, xix. 1 ; overflow- 
ing world, seen by Mordecai in 
dream. Ixxix. 3 

Brothers', seven, martyrdom, Ixxxix. 


Burgunia, son of Elisa, fought 
Latinus II., xl. 15 

Cadmus Europes Tahpanhes reigns 
in Greece, Ivi. 3 ; King of Egypt, 
goes from Thebes and comes to 
Tyre, Ivi. 3 ; reigns in Tyre and 
Sidon, Ivi. 3 ; reigns in Thebes 
in the days of Othniel, Ivi. 5 

Caesarea {i.e., Kappadocia), xxxii. 4 

Cain, derivation of name, vii. 2 ; 
Qalmana, wife of, xxiv. 1 ; the first 
to surround city with a wall, xxiv. 
1 ; children of, very numerous, 
xxiv. 3 ; descendants of, all evil- 
doers, xxiv. 4 ; sons of, dwelt in 
the fields of Damascus, xxiv. 11 ; 
seed of, with whom the seed of 
Seth did not intermarry, xxiv. 11 ; 
in land of Nod, xxvi. 11 ; names 
of seven cities built by, xxvi. 11 ; 
sons of, xxvi. 12 ; daughters of, 
xxvi. 12 

Caleb in third house in Eden, xx. 6 ; 
lots cast in the tribe of, Ivii. 2 

Calf, golden,^ brought by the Keu- 
benites and Gadites from Dan, 
and a holy temple made for it, 
Ixi. 1 ; images of, to be prayed 
to by those desiring sons and 
daughters, lix. 12 ; carried away 
by Sennacherib, Ix. 1 

Cambisa, son of Cyrus, reigns in 
his stead, Ixxviii. 5 ; destroys the 
remnant of the Scythians, to- 
gether with their queen, Tamirah, 
Ixxviii. 5 ; son of Cyrus, King of 
Persia, Ivi. 1 

Camp, each of the Israelites', like a 
large city, liii. 15 ; of twelve 
tribes in desert described, liii. 15 ; 
of the sons of Merari, in the north, 
opposite Dan's standard, liii. 15 ; 
of the sons of Gershon in the 
west, opposite Ephraim's stand- 
ard, liii. 15 ; of Moses, Aaron and 
his sons to the east of the taber- 
nacle, opposite Judah's standard, 
liii. 15 ; of the sons of Qehath, 
in the south, opposite Reuben's 
standard, liii. 15 ; total area of, 
twelve square miles, liii. 18 ; be- 
tween the, an area of 4,000 cubits, 
liii. 18 

Canaan, children of, xxvii. 4 ; num- 
ber of children of, xxviii. 4 ; 

boundary of, xxxi. 18 ; a sinner 
after the flood, Ivii. 14 

Canaanites in the mountains join 
Amaleqites, but are defeated, 
xlviii. 14 

Cannibals encountered by Ellianan, 
Ixiii. 20 

Canopies, ten, created for Adam, 
vii. 1 ; table of precious stones 
and pearls in, xviii. 2 ; in Paradise, 
overgrown by golden vine, from 
which thirty pearls hang, xviii. 2 ; 
two, one of stars, the other of 
sun and moon, to each scholar, 
xviii. 6 ; at erection of, the moun- 
tains and hills skipped like rams, 
lii. 13 

Canusi, a large city where the battle 
between Annibal and the Eomans 
took place, xcvi. 3 

Carthagene (Qartaini), built in the 
time of Yair, Iviii. 11 ; besieged by 
Scipio, xcvi. 7 ; men of, inform 
Annibal that unless he will relieve 
them they will open the gates 
to Scipio, xcvi. 7 ; Annibal in, 
xcvi. 2 

Castor, brother of Theseus, cap- 
tured in the time of Yair, Iviii. 

Cattle of tribes pasture opposite 
their encampment, liii. 18 

Cedar wishes to serve as gallows 
for Haman, Ixxxiii. 4 ; replaced 
in its position by Gabriel after 
falling upon Haman, Ixxxii. 6 

Chain, iron, half hot as fire, half 
cold as ice, to beat man with at 
death, xiii. 2 

Chaldean language spoken in Chal- 
dea, xxxi. 1 

Chaldeans dip sons in fire, as other 
nations dip them in water, xxxv. 
6 ; defeated by Cyrus and Darius, 
Ixvii. 1; kingdom of, divided by 
lot between Cyrus and Darius, 
Ixviii. 10 ; furnace of, xxix. 14 
(v. Chasdim) 

Chariot, wheels of, i. 11 ; God's, noise 
of, produces earthquakes and 
lightnings, i. 11 ; wheels of the, 
praise God for being no respecter 
of persons, 1. 6 

Chasdim, Judah and half Simeon 
dwell in land of, Ixiii. 19 {v. 


Cherubim, God speaks between 
two, i. 11 

Child, God decrees future of, ix. 1 ; 
formation of, ix. 1-10; birth of, 
ix. 8 

Children in sixth compartment of 
Paradise, xviii. 7 ; commanded 
by God to be swallowed up by the 
earth, xliii. 5 ; sustained by beasts 
of the field, xliii. 6 

Chronicles, Book of the, of the 
Kings of Egypt, xlvii. 8 ; of the 
Kings of Media and Persia, Ixxviii. 
1 ; of the Kings of Rome, Ixxviii. 1 

Cinnereth, in Lybia, built in the 
days of Ehud, Iviii. 2 [vide Gyrene) 

Circumcision prohibited by Antio- 
chus, Ixxxvii. 8 ; by Jethro, xlvi. 

Citron wishes to serve as gallows 
for Haman, Ixxxiii. 3 

Clay, if decree sealed with, prayers 
heard, Ixxxii. 5 

Clouds pass on sounds to the seas, 
ii. 5 ; and thick darkness form 
dishes for moon, iii. 6 ; of glory 
surround the Israelites in the wil- 
derness, liii. 1 ; level high places 
and raise low places, liii. 1 ; placed 
at top of the standards upon which 
the light of the Divine Presence 
was refulgent, liii. 1 ; one arm 
of seventh, rests on each of the 
four standards, liii. 2; containing 
the letter Yod, He, went the round 
of all the camps during the seven 
days of the week, giving light as 
the sun by day and as the moon 
by night, liii. 6 ; four, upon which 
Hebrew letters were engraved, 
followed the Israelites, liii. 7 ; 
cleanse the Israelites, liii. 16 ; 
divide tribes from their cattle, 
liii. 18 

Commandments, Ten, given by 
God, xlviii. 15 

Corinthus, present name of city of 
Epira, Ivi. 5 

Covenant, text of the, between the 
Romans and the Jews, xcvii. 2 

Creatures, holy, quaking, i. 13 

Crown, reaches God's throne, when 
all the wheels of His chariot and 
throne commence rolling, Iii. 6 

Gush, children of, xxvii. 4, xxxi. 17 ; 
people of, wage war with people 

of Qedem (East) and Syria, xlv. 1 ; 
besieged nine years by Qinqanos, 
xlv. 3 {vide Kush) 

Cushim, son of Canaan, xxvii. 4 

Cycrops fled from Egypt, Ivi. 1 {vide 

Cyprus, i.e., Kittim, xxxii. 4 

Gyrene, in Lybia, Iviii. 2 

Cyrus the Persian raised against 
Babylon, Ixvii. 1 ; marries the 
daughter of Darius, Ixvii. 1 ; pre- 
vents Chaldeans from pursuing 
the Median camp, Ixvii. 1 ; receives 
by lot Assyria and Persia, Ixviii. 
10 ; proclaims that whoever 
desires to go to Jerusalem to help 
in building the temple shall be 
paid for his labours, Ixxvi. 2 ; 
reigns over Media and Persia 
after the death of Darius, Ixxvii. 
1; reigns over all the kingdoms 
of the earth, Ixxviii. 1 ; captures 
mountains of Elef (or Alef ) , Ixxviii. 
1 ; captures all the fords of India 
and the land of Ethiopia, Ixxviii. 
1 ; acts of, written in the Book 
of Chronicles of the Kings of 
Media and Persia, Ixxviii. 1 ; acts 
of, written in the Book of 
Chronicles of the Kings of Rome, 
Ixxviii. 1 ; ends his days in battle 
in the land of Shittim (Scythians), 
Ixxviii. 2 ; entices the Scythians 
from their fortresses by a ruse, 
Ixxviii. 3 ; slays the son of their 
queen Tamirah, Ixxviii. 3 ; suc- 
ceeded by his sons Darius, Cyrus, 
and Artaxerxes, Ixxxv. 1 

Cyrus and Darius humble them- 
selves and prostrate themselves 
before God, Ixviii. 7 ; write pro- 
clamation to the Arameans, 
Tyreans, Samaritans, and Asaph, 
governor of the garden of Leba- 
non, Ixxvi. 3 

Da'al did not worship Baal in the 

days of Yair, Iviii. 10 
Damascus, xxxvi. 1 
Dan, constellation of Cancer, liii. 

13; stone of, the beryl, liii. 13; 

ensign of, a serpent, liii. 14 ; 

taught their children what they 

learned from the Amorites, Ivii. 

10 ; determine to leave Canaan 

and settle in Egypt, Ixii. 5 ; war 


waged against tribe of, lix. 13 ; 
Naphtali, Gad and Asher come 
to, Ixi. 4 ; tribe of, mighty war- 
riors, Ixii. 5, Ixiii. 4; refuse to 
fight House of David, Ixil 5, 
Ixiii. 4 ; determine to fight Jero- 
boam, Ixii. 5 ; tribe of, arrive at 
the other side of the River Pishon, 
where they settle, Ixii. 6; tribe 
of, wish to settle in Edom, Moab, 
and among the Ammonites, Ixii. 
6 ; birthplace of Elhanan, Ixiii. 1 ; 
descendants of met by Elhanan, 
Ixiii. 4; tribe of, march to the 
brook of Pishon, seven years' 
journey from Canaan, Ixiii. 5 ; 
tribe of, dwell by the sea in Kush, 
where are Ethiopians without 
number, Ixiii. 5 ; tribe of, arrive 
at Kush, i.e , Havila, Ixiii. 5 ; 
tribe of, resolve to attack Edom, 
Amnion, and Moab, Ixiii. 5 ; tribe 
of, resolve to attack the Egyp- 
tians, Ixiii. 5 ; descendants of, slay 
twenty-five Ethiopian kings, Ixiii. 
6 ; tribe of, joined by men of the 
tribes of Naphtali, Gad, and 
Asher, Ixiii. 7 ; tribe of, dwells 
with those of Gad, Asher, and 
Naphtali, by the rivers of Kush, 
Ixiii. 8 ; children of, never close 
their houses, as there are no 
thieves among them, Ixiii. 14 ; 
children of, possess no servants, 
Ixiii. 14 ; children of, rebuked by 
the children of Levi for swearing 
by God's name, Ixiii. 14 ; children 
of, smite 22,000 Israelites, lix. 13 

Danaus has fifty sons, who marry 
the fifty daughters of Egisates, 
their brother, Ivi. 4 ; one of fifty 
sons of, slays his brothers and 
reigns in their stead, Ivi. 4 

Daniel discovers injustice of Susan- 
nah's two judges, Ixv. 7 ; prayed 
for Nebuchadnezzar, so that his 
seven years became seven months, 
Ixvi. 1 ; refuses to be one of 
Nebuchadnezzar's heirs, Ixvi. 2 : 
interprets the writing upon the 
wall, Ixxiii. 1 ; rebukes Belshaz- 
zar, Ixviii. 2 ; advice of, to Darius, 
Ixix. 2 ; envied by the princes, 
who conspire against him, Ixx. 1 ; 
prays to God three times each 
day, Ixx. 3; cast into a den in 

which ten lions were enclosed, 
Ixx. 6 ; God of, praised by the 
bystanders, Ixx. 10 ; brought from 
the lions' den sound and perfect, 
Ixx. 10 ; points out that the 
priests of Bel eat the offerings, 
Ixxii. 3 ; discovers by means of 
ashes upon the floor of Bel's 
temple the stratagem of the 
priests, Ixxii. 4 ; leaves for Shu- 
shan, in the land of Elam, his 
native place, Ixxiv. 3 ; gives all 
that the king presented him with 
to the suffering exiles of Judah, 
Ixxiv. 3 ; prophesied the division 
of the kingdom by Alexander, 
Ixxxv. 8 

Danube, i.e., the Dunai, by which 
Ugar, Bulgar, and Pasinaq live, 
xxxi. 7 

Darius the Mede, reign of, xl. 20 ; 
the Mede raised against Babylon, 
Ixvii. 1 ; receives by lot Babylon, 
its temple, and the land of Media, 
Ixviii. 10 ; places Daniel upon a 
throne and asks him for counsel, 
Ixix. 1 ; issues a decree to his 
people to honour and believe in 
the God of Daniel, Ixix. 3 ; con- 
firms the decree of the princes by 
sealing it with his seal, Ixx. 2 ; 
exerts all his strength to rescue 
Daniel, Ixx. 4 ; strives with the 
princes until sunset, Ixx. 5 ; goes 
to the lions' den at daybreak and 
hears Daniel singing God's praises, 
Ixx. 9; orders Daniel's enemies 
to be thrown into the lions' den, 
Ixx. 10 ; orders the princes to 
assist the Jews, Ixxi. 2 ; orders 
runners to proclaim the king's 
permission to the Jews to rebuild 
God's temple, Ixxi. 2 ; appoints 
Daniel as his counsellor, Ixxii. 1 ; 
sends for Daniel to test his wisdom, 
Ixxii. 1 ; prepares an offering to 
be brought before Bel, Ixxii. 2 ; 
allows Daniel to return to his 
native land on condition of ap- 
pointing a successor, Ixxiv. 1 ; 
son of Ahasuerus, reigned thirty- 
four years after the rebuilding of 
the temple, Ixxiv. 3 ; perplexed at 
the dicta of his three guardians, 
Ixxiv. 8 ; sends a message to Cyrus 
to join him in establishing God's 


house in Jerusalem, Ixxvi. 2 ; 
makes Cyrus, his son-in-law, king 
over Media, Ixxvii. 1 
Darkness created on first day, i. 3 ; 
that existed before creation now 
in hell, xxi. 11 ; covering earth, 
seen by Mordecai in dream, 
Ixxix. 3 
Dathan lost his soul through riches, 

X. 10 
David, tradition spoken by, ix. 11 ; 
in third house in Eden, xx. 6 ; 
speaks in third house of Eden, 
XX. 7 ; smites Syria in the days 
of Romulus II., xl. 15; enticed 
by a woman, Ixxv. 7 
Day created on first day, i. 3 ; 
twelve hours in, vi. 10 ; refuses to 
move that IMoses may continue to 
live, li. 4 
Dead, large habitation of, xix. 1 ; 
souls of, eat from field and drink 
from brook on Sabbath eve, xix. 
1 ; robbed by those who drink 
water between the afternoon and 
evening services on Sabbath, xix. 
2 ; rest on Sabbath, xix. 3 ; rise 
from their graves every Sabbath 
and new moon, xix. 4 
Death, time to quit world, ix. 10 ; 
difference in, of man and animals, 
xi. 5 ; angel of, appearance of, 
xii. 5 ; martyrs inform Antiochus 
that their souls are given over to, 
Ixxxix. 7 ; an atonement for their 
people, Ixxxix. 7 
Deber, son of Samer, xxvii. 1 
Debir built by Misraim, xxvii. 4 
Deborah, twin wife of Abel, 

xxvi. 1 
Decrees, the four, concerning the 
Levites : (1) Sprinkling of water 
of sin-offering ; (2) washing of 
clothes; (3) heaving; (4) razor, Iv. 6 
Dedan, son of Japheth, xxvii. 2 
Dedazal, son of Reu, xxvii. 6 
Degel subdued by Magog, xxvii. 3 
Demetrius, with a large army from 
Rome, attacks Antiochus Eupator, 
xcviii. 6 ; slays Antiochus and 
Lysias, xcix. 1 ; rules in Antiochia, 
in Macedon, xcix. 1 ; sends Nica- 
nor with a strong army against 
the Jews, xcix. 3 
Demons created on second day, i. 3 ; 
children of Adam, xxiii. 1 

Depaseat, son of Heri, xxvii. 2 
Derifa, daughter of Reu, xxvii. 6 
Dialus, a wise man who made idols 
of gold and brass which could 
speak, Iviii. 8 
Diensdakh {i.e., Tuesday), iv. 2 
Diga, son of Serug, xxvii. 7 
Dinim subdues Gudah, xxvii. 3 
Dinur, a river in hell, beneath 
throne of glory {vide Fire ; 
Rigion), xvi. 7 
Dionysius builds Niza, in Media, 

Iviii. 2 
Diqalbel, son of Yoqtan, xxvii. 5 
Diul, a sinner after the Flood, Ivii. 14 
Divination first practised, xxvii. 9 
Do'ath, son of Heri, xxvii. 2 
Dodanim, children of, xxvii. 2, 
xxviii. 3 ; subdue Qaduba, xxvii. 
3; i.e., Rodie, xxxi. 4; i.e., the 
Daniski,who dweUin Danemarka 
and Asidania, xxxi. 14 ; descend- 
ants of, xxxi. 15 
Doeg the Edomite lost his soul 

through wisdom, x. 10 
Dog kills Piritius and attempts to 
kill Thisius, who is saved by 
Heraclones, Iviii. 2 
Donnersdakh {i.e., Thursday), iv. 2 
Dostios (Dositheus), a captain of 
Judah's army, captures Timo- 
theos, xcvii. 7 ; a captain of the 
host slain in a fierce battle be- 
tween Judah and Gorgias, 
xcviii. 1 
Dove, image of, to be prayed to by 
those desiring riches, lix. 12 ; 
places a scroll of the law upon 
the knees of Solomon, Ixxxiv. 7 
Dragon, and Daniel, Ixxiii. ; fighting 
seen by Mordecai in dream, 
Ixxix. 3 
Dream of Miriam, xlii. 8 ; of 
Pharaoh, xliii, 1 ; interpretation 
of Pharaoh's, xliii. 2 ; of Mordecai, 
Ixxix. 3 ; of Ahasuerus, Ixxxii. 7 ; 
of Alexander, Ixxxv. 4 
Drop, bitter, from blade of angel of 

death, xii. 5 
Drought and rain, xxvii. 3 
Drowned, in second compartment of 

Paradise, xviii. 7 
Ducsius, elder of the Hassidim, 
tested in the reign of Antiochus 
and found perfect, xcix. 6 ; called 
father of the Jews, and judge in 



Jerusalem, xcix. 6 ; pierces his 
bowels, xcix. 7 ; prays and dies, 
xcix. 7 
Dust, God takes of the, vi. 7 

Eagle, image of, to be prayed to by 
those desiring riches, lix. 12 ; 
whose wings are spread over the 
whole world, so that nothing 
could withstand it until the great 
Mede arose and smote it, Ixxxi. 1 ; 
and peacocks nestled among the 
branches of the trees on the 
throne of Solomon, Ixxxiv. 3 ; 
placed crown upon the head of 
Solomon, Ixxxiv. 6 

Earth created on first day, i. 3; 
over waters as a ship, ii. 2 ; depth 
of, ii. 4 ; destined to become a 
curse, vi. 6; compact made by 
God, vi. 14 ; rebuked, vi. 6, 7 ; 
divided into three parts, xxxi. 1 ; 
commanded by God to swallow 
up the children of the Israehtes, 
protect them until they grow up, 
and then to cast them up, xliii. 5 ; 
ploughed by the Egyptians in 
order to injure children, xliii. 6 

Earthquakes in northern corner of 
the world, i. 7 ; when Abram in 
furnace, xxx. 14 

Earth-worshippers encountered by 
Elhanan, Ixiii. 20 

Ebarim, Mount, under which books 
concealed, Ivii. 10 {vide Abarim) 

Eber, son of Shelah, xxvii. 5 ; sons 
of, xxvii. 5 

Ecbatana, Antiochus compelled by 
the Persians to flee from, xciii. 3 

Eden, Garden of, created before 
creation, i. 2 ; gate of, opened by 
God, ii. 3 ; Adam and Eve driven 
from, vi. 10 et seq. ; spirit brought 
from, ix. 2 ; child carried through, 
ix. 5 ; virtuous honoured in, 
xvii. 6 ; nine palaces in, xx. 1 ; 
length of houses in, xx. 1 ; every 
house presided over by angels, 
XX. 1 ; sixty myriad species of 
trees in, xx. 2 ; every house in, 
contains canopies of roses and 
myrtles, xx. 1 ; fruit of, eaten by 
pupils of sages, xx. 2 ; houses in, 
XX. 3 ; beams of house in, of 
white glass and walls of cedar- 
wood, XX. 4 ; second house built 

of silver and walls of cedar, xx. 

5 ; third house built of gold and 
silver, xx. 6 ; 310 worlds in, xviii. 

6 ; third house of precious stones, 
with golden beds, and prepared 
lights, XX. 7 ; reason why fourth 
house of, built of olive-wood, xx. 8; 
fourth house of, like first man, 
XX. 8 ; fifth house built of onyx 
and precious stones, xx. 9 ; walls 
of fifth house of gold and per- 
fumed with balsam, xx. 9 {vide 

Edessa, i.e. , Semari in Syria, xxxi. 18 

Edom, land of, where Judah and 
Gorgias fight a battle, xciv. 2 

Edomites, commanded by the two 
kings to contribute their share in 
the rebuilding of God's house, 
Ixxvi. 5 ; ordered to hew the 
wood from the Lebanon, Ixxvi. 5 ; 
ordered to pay yearly tribute of 
five talents of gold, Ixxvi. 5 

Egisates (or Agestes), the fifty 
daughters of, married by the fifty 
sons of Danaus, Ivi. 4 

Egypt, kings of, called Pharaoh till 
time of Ptolemy Lagos, from 
which time called Ptolemy, xxxii. 
6; divided into three kingdoms, 
xlii. 1 ; gods of, broken up into 
small pieces and destroyed, liv. 1 ; 
every firstborn of, slays his father, 
liv. 2; Israelites flee to, in twenty- 
seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar's 
reign, Ix'^. 10 ; captured by Nebu- 
chadnezzar, Ix. 10 ; engraved 
upon a golden table, Ixxxvii. 5 

Egyptian language spoken in Egypt, 
xxxi, 1 ; rabble wish to prevent 
Israelites from going, xlviii. 12. 

Egyptians, two wizards of, liv. 8 ; 
more addicted to witchcraft than 
any other nation, liv. 8 ; seized 
with fear on seeing the Israelites, 
liv. 9 ; did not wish to enter the 
sea after the Israelites, liv. 9 

Ehud succeeds Othniel, Iviii. 2 

Eight things created on first day, i. 3 

Eight things created on second day, 
i. 3 

Elaf (or Alef), mountains of, i.e., the 
mountains of darkness, as far as 
the Snow Mountains, which are 
impassable, captured by Cyrus, 
Ixxviii, 1 


Elah, spokesman of sinners, wants 
each tribe to be asked separately, 
Ivii. 9 ; tent of, where the books (?) 
of the Amorites were hidden, 
Ivii. 12 ; a sinner after the Flood, 
Ivii. 14 
Elam, son of Shem, xxvii. 5 
Elash, son of Tiras, xxvii. 2 
Elazar, son of Asher the Levite, 

page, 1, xxxi. 5, 18, xli. 7 
R. Elazar of Modin, on Abraham's 

greatness in magic, xxxv. 4 
Elchanan hailed from Dan, and 
was very wise and pious, Ixiii. 1 ; 
son of Joseph, a large export 
merchant, and owner of many 
ships, Ixiii. 1 ; made a ship con- 
taining many chambers, Ixiii. 1 ; 
a man of valour, Ixiii. 2 ; servants 
of, partly Jews, partly Ishmael- 
ites, Ixiii. 2 ; ship of, loaded with 
10,000 talents' worth of spices, 
Ixiii. 2 ; ship of, drifts on to the 
sand in the Sea of Havila, Ixiii. 3 ; 
majestic in appearance, Ixiii. 4 ; 
comes upon a people who speak 
Hebrew, Ixiii. 4 ; passes through 
lands some of whose inhabitants 
are fire-worshippers, others earth- 
worshippers, others worshipped a 
white horse and were cannibals, 
Ixiii. 20 ; the Danite came from 
the land of India, Ixiii. 20 
Eleazar and Ithamar succeed Aaron, 
xlviii. 17 ; the priest exhorts the 
people, Ivii. 38 ; captain, xlviii. 14 ; 
R., question of, to R. Simeon, 
whether Israelites took weavers 
with them, liii. 16 ; the chief 
of the seventy priests sent to 
Ptolemy, Ixxxvii. 3; brings the 
various copies to the king, who 
finds them to be identical, Ixxxvii. 
4 ; refuses to eat of the forbidden 
sacrifice, Ixxxviii. 3; refuses to 
deceive the people by feigning to 
eat forbidden sacrifice, Ixxxviii. 3 ; 
captured and brought before 
Phillip, Ixxxviii. 3 ; aged ninety, 
martyrdom of, Ixxxviii. 4, 5 ; 
Judah's brother pierces the ele- 
phant with his sword, it falls upon 
him and crushes him to death, 
xcviii. 5 ; blood of, avenged by 
Judah, xciii. 1 
Eliakim, the priest at the head of 

the Jews returning from Babylon, 
Ixxi. 3 
Eliezer, ruler of Damascus, enters 

Abraham's service, xxxv. 2 
R. Eliezer, i. 1, 8, iii. 2, 3 ; concerning 
stiffneckedness of wicked, xii. 8; 
concerning the beating in the 
graves, xiii. 1 ; concerning ety- 
mology of Gehinnom, xiv. 1 
Elifaz, son of Peleg, xxvii. 5 
Elijah, four Divine hosts shown 
him, ix. 11 ; interview with R. 
Joshua b. Levi, xv. 1 ; dwells in 
the fifth house of Eden, xx. 9; 
on appearance of, ark will be dis- 
covered, Ixxvii. 9 ; beseeches Abra- 
ham, Isaac and Jacob, Ixxxii. 4 ; 
informs Moses of impending doom 
and of Mordecai, Ixxxii. 4 ; in- 
formed by Moses that if the 
decree has been sealed with blood, 
then what was decreed will 
happen, Ixxxii. 5 ; informed by 
Moses that if the decree is sealed 
with clay, their prayers may still 
be heard, Ixxxii. 5 ; goes to Mor- 
decai, Ixxxii. 5 
Eliochora, Sea of, held by Jonithem, 

xxxii. 1 
Eliodorus, captain of the host of 
Seleucus, ordered to go to Jeru- 
salem, Ixxxvi. 1 ; places guards 
round the Temple, Ixxxvi. 2 {vide 
Eliosin (Eleusis), name of Akta, 
xxxv. 9 ; city of, destroyed by 
Erkules in the reign of Tola, 
Iviii. 9 
Eliphaz, son of Esau, taught by 
Jacob, does not accompany his 
brother to war against Jacob, 
XXX vii. 13 
Elisa, children of Yavan, xxxi. 4 ; 
i.e., Alamania, inhabit mountains 
of lov and Sebtimo, xxxi. 12; 
sons of, xl. 13 
Ehshah subdues Tablo, xxvii. 3; 

number of children, xxviii. 3 
Ehshah ben Abuyah presides over, 
not punished, in seventh compart- 
ment, xxi, 11 
Elohim, children of, of the seed of 

Seth, xxiv. 10 
Emorites (vide Amorites) 
Endiana belongs to Shem, xxxi. 


Enoch, name of a city built by 
Cain, xxiv. 1 ; son of Cain and 
Qalmana, xxiv. 1 ; the seventh 
from Adam, purified city of Enoch, 
xxiv. 3 ; sons of, xxvi. 8 ; daughters 
of, xxvi. 8 ; desired by God and 
taken away, xxvi. 8 ; son of Cain 
and Temed, xxvi. 11 ; children 
of, xxvi. 13 ; placed in the Garden 
of Eden, xxvi. 20 ; author of 
many writings, xxvi. 20; son of 
Reuben, fights by the side of 
Simeon and Benjamin, xxxvii. 6 

Enosh, son of Seth, forms a man, 
xxiii. 6 ; in the days of, men 
began to be deified, and had 
temples built to them, xxiv. 9 ; 
sons of, xxvi. 4; daughter of, 
xxvi. 4 ; in time of, men made 
temples to gods, xxvi. 20 

Eoropa, in Japheth's portion, 
xxxi. 3 

Ephraim, stone of, the jacinth, 
liii. 13 ; constellation of, Gemini, 
liii. 13 ; ensign of, an ox, liii. 14 ; 
passed their children through the 
fire, according to the custom of 
the Amorites, Ivii. 15 

Ephraim and half Manasseh, tribes 
of, possess no money, but only 
spoil from their enemies, Ixii. 12 ; 
tribes of, are hard-hearted, ride 
horses, infest the roads, and are 
pitiless, Ixii. 12, Ixiii. 18; tribes of, 
are distant six months' march from 
Temple, and are innumerable, 
Ixii. 12 ; exact tribute from 
twenty-five kingdoms, as well as 
from a portion of Ishmael, Ixii. 12 ; 
are good riders, Ixiii. 18 ; a portion 
of the tribes of, are harsh and 
hard-hearted, Ixiii, 18 

Ephron, a large city, besieged by 
Judah, xcvii. 8 

Epira, city of, now called Corinthus, 
Ivi. 5 

Epirus, many Romans slain by 
Annibal at, xcvi. 8 

Erekh {i.e., Edessa), xxxi. 18 

Eriqtonios, the first to construct a 
chariot in Greece, Ivi. 3 ; lives in 
the time of Joshua, Ivi. 3 

Erkules conquers Anteos, in Lybia, 
and destroys city of Elios during 
reign of Tola, Iviii. 9; commits 
suicide by throwing himself into 

the fire at the time of the death 
of Jephtha's daughter, lix. 8 

Esau separates from Jacob, xxxvii. 
1 ; attacks Jacob and his sons 
when they are sitting in mourn- 
ing for Leah, xxxvii. 1 ; hit on 
right shoulder by an arrow from 
Jacob's bow, xxxvii. 4 ; dies from 
his wound at Adoram, xxxvii. 4 ; 
sons of, xxxvii. 13 ; children of, 
made tributary by sons of Jacob, 
xxxvii. 14 ; difference in future 
reward of children of, to that of 
children of Jacob, xx. 7 

Esther, prayer of, Ixxx. ; in her 
royal garments appears before 
the king, accompanied by two 
handmaidens, Ixxx. 4 ; faint from 
fasting and trouble, Ixxx. 6 

Estirah, name of girl seen and 
desired by Shemhazai, xxv. 5 ; 
taught the ineffable Name by 
Shemhazai, xxv. 5 ; ascends to 
heaven, and is placed among the 
Pleiades, xxv. 6 

Esudad, son of Heri, xxvii. 2 

Ethiopia, each of the twenty-five 
kings of, possesses 1,000 horsemen 
and 80,000 infantry, Ixiii. 6 ; land 
of, captured by Cyrus, Ixxviii. 1 
{vide Kush) 

Euphrates, in Shem's portion, 
xxxi. 3 ; children of Zebulun 
extend to the, Ixii. 11 

Eupirus, river where Jllmilius and 
Varros arranged the Roman 
army in battle array, xcvi. 3 

Eve eats the forbidden fruit, xxii. 1 
et seq. 

Evil Merodach succeeds Nebuchad- 
nezzar the Younger, Ixvi. 4 ; 
rescues Jehoiachin, King of 
Judah, from prison, Ixvi. 5 ; 
Nebuchadnezzar's eldest son 
slandered to his father, who 
makes Nebuchadnezzar the 
Younger king, Ixvi. 5 ; three sons 
of, named Regosar, Lebuzer- 
Dukh and Nabar {i.e., Belshaz- 
zar), Ixvi. 6 

Excommunication by Upper and 
Lower Tribunal, Iv. 12 

Exiles, the eight, Ix. ; banishment 
by Titus, on the eve of the ninth 
of Ab, Ixi. 1 {vide Dan ; Levites ; 
Moses, sons of ; Tribes) 


Ezra, the priest and scribe, at the 
head of the four myriads of 
returning Jews, Ixxi. 3 

Ezra and Nehemiah pray to God 
for the holy fire which was 
hidden by Jeremiah, Ixxvii. 3 

Faneg, son of Dodanim, first used 
ships, xxvii. 3; subdued Yedid, 
xxvii. 3 
Fantonya, son of Tubal, xxvii. 2 
Fast proclaimed by Judah, xcii. 5 
Faunus, successor of Sefo, xl. 10; 

ruled Italy, hx. 10 
Februarius, month of, added by 

Pompilius, lix. 11 
Ficus ruled Italy, lix. 10 
Field, in the habitation of the dead, 

xix. 1 {vide Camp) 
Fig-tree, wishes to serve as gallows 

for Haman, Ixxxiii. 2 
Filop, son of Dedan, xxvii. 2 
Fingers, writing on the wall, 

Ixvii. 3 
Fire, river of, from the face of 
holy creatures, i. 13 {vide Dinur) ; 
Chaldeans drop their children in, 
XXX. 6 ; worshippers of neighbours 
of Issachar, Ixii. 10 ; worshippers 
of, encountered by Elhanan, Ixiii. 
20; holy, hidden by Jeremiah, 
Ixxvii. 3 ; sunk in the earth, under 
a large stone in the valley of the 
Mount of Olives, Ixxvii. 6 ; place 
of, indicated by old priest. Ixxvii. 
6 ; in a pit in the valley of the 
Mount of Olives priests find some- 
thing hke the lees of oil, mud, and 
honey, Ixxvii. 7 ; suddenly burns 
the altar, Ixxvii. 8; licks the 
burnt- offering, and cleanses the 
Temple, diminishes, Ixxvii. 8 ; of 
Judah' s mouth burns sinners, 
xc. 4 ; for the altar could not be 
found by Judah, xciv. 1 
Firita, daughter of Keu, xxvii. 6 
Firmament created on second day, i. 
8 ; divided into seven degrees, iv. 3 
First-born, every Egyptian, slays 
his father, liv. 2; where no, 
eldest in the house died, liv. 3 ; 
the dead, come to hfe and die 
anew, liv. 3 ; smiting of, liv. 
Flame which did not burn, Ivii. 40 
Flood, the, in God's mind at Crea- 
tion, i. 4 

Foam, hot, vomited by source, 

Ivii. 41 
Forma, waters drawn from, brought 
to Kittim in a vessel for the use 
of lania, xl. 11 
Fortresses, store-cities of Egypt, 
so built that no one could enter 
or leave without king's know- 
ledge, xlii. 3 
Foundations, between the, sons of 
men shall dwell 7,000 years, 
Ivii. 41 
Fountain, of hot waters near Gehin- 
nom, ii. 4; yield fishes, birds 
and fruits and water, Ixii. 3 ; 
six of which form one pool, Ixii. 3 
Frankos, children of Gomer, xxxi. 6 
Fransehn, land of Frankos, xxxi. 6 
Fran si, children of Madai, xxxi. 4 
Frezes (Phryges), children of Tog- 
armah, xxxi. 4 

Gaash, Mount, occupied by Amor- 
ites, discomfited by sons of Jacob, 
xxxvi. 10 
Gabriel, head of second band of 
angels i. 9; driven away by 
earth, vi. 5 ; commanded to 
bring dust, vi. 6 ; relieves Han- 
anya, Mishael, and Azariah from 
furnace, xxxv. 3; the angel, 
assumes the form of one of 
Pharaoh's counsellors, xliv. 11 ; 
advises king to test Moses by 
bringing onyx stones and live 
coals before him, xliv. 11 ; com- 
manded by God to bring the soul 
of Moses, 1. 10; asks God how 
he can look upon the death of 
one worth sixty myriads of His 
angels, 1. 10 ; spreads a garment 
of fine linen at the head of 
Moses, 1. 14 ; unable to do any- 
thing against Johanai and Mamre, 
hv. 8 ; enters the sea in the form 
of a mare, liv. 9; afflicts the 
Amorites with blindness, Ivii. 
34 ; replaces the cedar in its 
position after it fell upon Haman, 
Ixxxii. 6 ; appears in his dream 
to Ahasuerus in the form of 
Haman, trying to kill him with 
a drawn sword, Ixxxiii. 7 
Gad, constellation of, Capricornus, 
liii. 13; stone of, the diamond, 
liii. 13; ensign of. a troop, liii. 


14 ; children of, lie with the wives 
of their neighbours, Ivii. 13 ; the 
seer, golden seat put for, lxxxiv» 

Gad and Gilead, men of, send two 
letters to Judah imploring his 
help against Timotheos, xciv. 2 

Gadaira, in Ham's portion, xxxi. 2; 
boundary of Japheth's portion, 
xxxi. 3 

Galathi (or Gavathi), children of 
Japheth, xxxii. 4 

Galilee, Jews of, delivered by 
Simeon, xciv. 3 

Galisur the angel prophesies the 
condition of the crops, lii. 8 ; so 
called because he revealed God's 
secrets, lii. 8; wings of, spread out 
to receive the breath of the holy 
creatures, lii. 8 ; takes a thick 
covering of iron and spreads it 
on the river Rigion, lii. 8 

Gallows for Haman, trees dispute 
who shall serve as, Ixxxiii. 2 

Garden planted upon mountain by 
Nebuchadnezzar the Younger, to 
please his Median wife, Ixvi. 4 ; 
of Eden {vide Eden, Paradise) 

Gasqonei, children of Japheth, 
xxxi. 4 

Gebi, son of Peleg, xxvii. 5 

Gedudim, troops of angels, 1. 14 

Gehinnom {vide Hell), created be- 
fore Creation of world, i. 2 ; in 
God's mind at Creation, i. 4 ; heat 
of, created on second day, i. 8 ; hot 
fountain near, ii. 4 ; child carried 
to, ix. 6 ; judgment of, ix. 11, 
xiii. 5 ; punishment of, x. 4, 
xi. 4, xiii. 6, 7 ; fate of one con- 
demned to, xi. 7 ; description of, 
xiv. 1 et seq. ; why so called, 
xiv. 1 ; seventh compartment of 
hell, xvii. 2; fire of = one-sixtieth 
fire of Shaare Salmavet, xvii. 2 ; 
wicked led to, by angels of 
trembling, xvii. 5 ; wicked thrown 
into depth of, by angel of death, 
xvii. 5 ; vision of, xxi. 

Genealogies, Book of, xli. 2 

Generations, Book of the, Ixvi. 6 

Germania, arrival of Annibal in, 
xcvi. 2 

Gershon not circumcised, by order 
of Reuel, xlvi. 13 ; camp of the 
sons of, liii. 15 

Geshem the Arabian slanders the 

Jews, Ixxi. 3 
Gezron, son of Ashur, xxvii. 5 
Gibeah, incident of concubine of, 
Iviii. 1 ; incident of, in the days 
of Abdon, lix. 12 
Gideon asks for another sign, Iviii. 7 
Gilion flows from fifth house of 
Eden, and illumines the upper 
world, XX. 9 ; fragrance of, more 
exquisite than that of Lebanon, 
XX. 9 ; i.e., the Nile in Ham's 
portion, xxxi. 3 
Gilead attacked by Timotheos, 

xciv. 4 
Gilug, son of Cush, xxvii. 4 
Giteal, King of the Ammonites, lix. 1 
Gizla, daughter of Serug, xxvii. 7 
God, Divine presence described, i. 9 ; 
throne of, i. 10 ; footstool of, 
1. 10 ; breath creates hosts of 
heaven, iii. 2 ; worship of, through 
fear, x. 4 ; descends, together with 
Michael, Gabriel, and Zagzael, 
1. 14 ; makes a sign in the 
heavens, and the day remained 
at a standstill, li. 5 ; not able 
to help Jews, said by Haman, 
Ixxxi. 6 ; will fight against Antio- 
chus, and uproot him from the 
earth, Ixxxix. 7 
Godansdakh {i.e., Wednesday), 

iv. 2 
Godo conquered by Riphath, 

xxvii. 3 
Gog and Magog descended from 

Sqite (Japhethites), xxxi. 4 
Golaza, son of Magog, xxvii. 2 
Gomar, sons of, xxvii. 1 ; children 
of, numbered by Pinhas, xxviii. 3 
Gomer, sons of, xxvii. 2 ; i.e., 
Gavathi, or Galathi, son of 
Japheth, xxxi. 4 
Gomorrah built by Misraim, xxvii. 4 
Gondalus ravages land of the Kit- 

tim, xl. 5 
Goqar, waters of, equivalent to 

those of Forma, xl. 11 
Gorgias chosen one of the generals 
of Lysias, xcii. 5 ; with a huge 
army, meets Judah in the laud 
of Edom, xciv. 2 ; defeated and 
put to flight by Judah, xciv. 2; 
flies to Arabia to Timotheos, 
xciv. 2 ; avoids single combat 
with Judah, and escapes, xcviii. 


1 ; flies to the desert of Marasha, 
where he dies, xcviii. 1 

Goshen, land of, where certain 
shepherds reigned, xhi. 1 ; king- 
dom of shepherds, granted in 
honour of Jacob and Joseph, 
xlii. 1 

Goths, pride of, humbled by Anni- 
bal, xcvi. 2 (vide Guti) 

Gozan, the river, Ixiii. 18 

Grave, beating of, xiii. 1 et seq. ; 
judgment of, not on those who 
die at Sabbath eve, xiii. 5 ; judg- 
ment in, more severe than that 
in hell, xiii. 5 

" Great," the word applied to Moses, 
1. 5 

Greece, assisted by Kome against 
Babylon, xl. 20 

Greek, language spoken in Greece, 
xxxi. 1 ; spoken by Judah and 
half tribe of Simeon, Ixiii. 19 ; 
persecution by the, vide Antio- 
chus, Judah 

Gresi, river of, called Yoniu, xxxi. 4 

Gudah, subdued by Dinim, xxvii. 3 

Guti (Goths), children of Japheth, 
xxxi. 4 

Gutiel did not worship Baal in the 
days of Yair, Iviii. 10 

Habakkuk prepares a large dish to 
feed the reapers, Ixx. 8 ; the 
prophet returns from harvesting 
in Judah at the same time as 
Daniel is cast into the hons' den, 
Ixx. 8 ; hfted up by a lock of his 
hair by an angel, and placed with 
food in the lions' den, Ixx. 8 

Hadarezer and his sons flee to 
Kittim, xl. 15 

Hadarniel, every word uttered by, 
accompanied by sparks of fire, 
lii. 2 ; stands far above his fellow- 
angels, lii. 2 ; rebukes Moses, hi. 
2; goes before Moses, hi. 4 ; acts 
as messenger for Moses, hi. 4 ; 
not able to stand before the fire 
of Sandalphon, lii. 5 

Ham, children of, xxvii. 4, xxviii. 
1, 4, xxxi. 17 

Haman angered at the execution of 
his relatives, Bigthan and Teresh, 
Ixxviii. 2 ; the Amalekites' enmity 
due to Mordecai being Saul's 
descendant, Ixxix. 1 ; letter of, 

Ixxxi; counsel of, to blot out all 

the Jews on one day, Ixxxi. 3 ; 

cuts dowai a cedar from his garden 

to hang Mordecai on, Ixxxii. 6 ; 

beats the children with iron 

chains and appoints keepers over 

them, Ixxxii. 7 ; destroys the 

wall of his own house to obtain 

a beam for the gallows, Ixxxiii. 5 

Hamath in Ham's portion, xxxi. 2; 

{i.e., Antochia) built by Hamathi, 

xxxi. 18 

Hamatim, son of Canaan, xxvii. 4 

Hanokh, son of Heri, xxvh. 2 

Haran, dies in the presence of his 

father Terah in Ur of the Chal- 

dees, XXXV. 1 ; children of, xxxv. 1 

Hararyah, land of, given to Jacob 

by the Amorites, xxxvi. 12^ 
Harteman, son of Peleg, xxvii. 5 
Hasmoneans, graven images found 
under the clothes of, who were 
slain in battle, xcviii. 2 {vide 
Hasor, battle before, xxxvi. 5; 

captured by Barak, Iviii. 4 
Hassidim, assembly of, scattered 
' and exiled, Ixxxvii. 8 ; flee to the 
forest, Ixxxvii. 8 ; a large number 
of, mustered by Mattathiah, xc._2 ; 
send the spoil to Jerusalem, xciii. 1 
Havilah, son of Yoqtan, xxvii. 5 ; 
' number of children of, xxviii. 4 ; 
i.e., Getih, xxxi. 17 ; precious 
stones of, included the bdellium 
and the onyx, Ivii. 14 ; encamp- 
ment of Levites, Ixii. 8 ; land of, 
abounds in gold, sheep, cattle, 
camels, asses, and horses, Ixii. 8; 
land of, measured, Ixiii. 7 
Heat of living body, created on 

second day, i. 8 
Heaven, created on first day, i. 3 ; 
form of, i. 6 ; boundaries of, i. 6 ; 
north corner not completed, i. 7 ; 
created by one word, iii. 2; the 
seven doors of, lii. H ; seven 
doors of the seven, opened by 
God Himself, who reveals Him- 
self to Israel face to face, lii. 11 
Heavenly hosts, with their crowns, 
glorify God, lii. 6 ; bodies, clothe 
themselves in sackcloth at the 
distress of the law, Ixxxii. 3 
Heber, name given to Moses by his 
father, xliv. 7 


Hebrew, language spoken in Eber, 
xxxi. 1 ; the holy language, 
xxxviii. 11 ; spoken by tribe of 
Issachar, Ixii. 10 ; spoken by 
children of Eeuben, Ixiii. 17 ; 
spoken by Judah and half 
Simeon, Ixiii. 19 ; children of 
Hebrews reply to the children 
of Egyptians, xliv. 3; Hebrews 
who rebelled slain during the 
three days of darkness, xlviii. 8 

Helena, captured by Theseus in the 
time of Yair, Iviii. 11 ; captured 
by Alexander in the time of Elon, 
lix. 9 ; comes to Egypt in the 
time of Abdon, lix. 10 

Heliodorus smitten very severely, 
Ixxxvi. 3 ; sees an awe-inspiring 
man riding a splendid horse in 
the Temple, Ixxxvi. 3; felled to 
the ground, Ixxxvi. 3 ; lifted by 
young priests and placed on his 
bed, Ixxxvi. 4 ; informs Seleucus 
that he should only send his 
enemies to plunder God's house, 
Ixxxvi. 5 ; ordered to bow down 
before Honiah, Ixxxvi. 5 (vide 

Hell, sea-gate, alluded to in Jonah, 
xiv. 3 ; three gates of, xiv. 3 ; gate 
of, in wilderness, xiv. 3 ; world- 
gate, xiv. 3 ; five different fires, 
xiv. 4 ; gate of, xv. 1 ; first com- 
partment of, where covetous 
punished, xvi. 1, xxi. 4 ; second 
compartment, slanderers pun- 
ished, xvi. 2, xxi. 5 ; third com- 
partment, adulterers punished, 
xvi. 3, XX. 7 ; fourth compart- 
ment, wantons punished, xvi. 4, 
XX. 8 ; fifth compartment, princes 
punished, xvi. 5, xx. 9; 7,000 
windows in each room, xvi. 6 ; 
sixth compartment, ten nations, 
XX. 10 ; 7,000 vessels filled with 
venom in each window of, xvi. 6 ; 
seven compartments of, xvi. 6 ; 
seventh compartment of, six 
nations, xxi. 11 ; 7,000 rooms, 
xvi. 6 ; 7,000 holes in every com- 
partment of, xvii. 1 ; names of 
compartments, xvii. 1 ; 7,000 
scorpions in every hole, xvii. 1 ; 
300 slits in every scorpion, xvii. 1 ; 
7,000 pouches of venom in the 
slit of every scorpion, xvii. 1 ; 

length of, 6,300 years' journey, 
xvii. 2; no righteous people in, 
xxi. 1 ; fire at the gates of, xxi. 3 ; 
two brooks in first compartment 
of, xxi. 4 ; open pits, fiery lions, 
xxi. 4 ; Antiochus will descend to 
the bottom of hell, that he will be 
drawn into darkness where there 
is no life or light, but darkness 
and shades, where there is no 
rest or repose, but trouble, 
sorrow, brimstone, and fire, 
xxxix. 13 (vide also Gehinnom) 

Helpmeet, the word causes the earth 
to tremble, vi. 14 

Heraclones saves Thisius from a 
dog, Iviii. 2 {vide Erkules) 

Heri, son of Ashkenaz, xxvii. 2 

Heroes, former name of the city 
Kamses, xlii. 1 

Hetel, river by which families of 
Togarmah live, xxxi, 6 

Heyya, son of Shemhazai, xxv. 7 ; 
invoked by men when they bear 
heavy loads, xxv. 11 (vide Aheyya) 

Hezekiah rules the 13,000 men of 
Judah and Benjamin who remain 
in Jerusalem, Ix. 5 

Hiddeqel, i.e., the Tigris, in Ja- 
pheth's portion, xxxi. 3 

High priest sends Ptolemy seventy 
priests with Eleazar as their chief, 
Ixxxvii. 3 (vide Eleazar, Alkimos) 

Hoi, an immortal bird who rebukes 
Eve, xxii. 5, 8 (vide Milliam) 

Holy creatures, breath of, unendur- 
able were it not for Galisur, 
lii. 8 

Honiah informs Eliodorus that the 
only gold in the treasury is that 
presented by Seleucus for the 
maintenance of orphans, widows 
and the poor, Ixxxvi. 1 ; the 
priest fasts, Ixxxvi. 2 ; entreated 
by the elders of Macedon to pray 
for Heliodorus, Ixxxvi, 4 

Horad, son of Melech, xxvii. 2 

Horiyah, a kingdom of Kush, Ixiii. 8 

Horses, fiery, ridden by forty men 
between heaven and earth, Ixxxvii. 
7 ; riders of, fight against one 
another for forty days, Ixxxvii, 7 

Hosca, son of Elah, kills Pekah, Ix. 
1 ; reigns five years over Israel 
in Samaria, Ix. 1 ; presents Sen- 
nacherib with the golden calf 


which Jeroboam had placed in 
Bethel, Ix. 2 
llushiel, angel who smites wicked 
in fifth compartment of hell, xx. 9 

I (words with I